Today Arctic Economic Council is celebrating its birthday. It is eight years ago since the creation of the AEC in Iqaluit in Canada. Since then, private sector representatives and indigenous groups have been the voice of the people in the region promoting sustainable economic development.

Having originally been created to inform the Arctic Council on the views on business in the region the organisation has developed into a global player on overall Arctic development. In recent years membership has grown and new partnerships fostered.

Since its establishment, AEC has signed Memorandums of understanding with organisations like the Arctic Council, World Economic Forum, University of the Arctic, and Arctic Parliamentarians. It has been mentioned in the national Arctic Strategies of 14 countries as an important stakeholder including the most recent ones from France, India, and the European Union.

The members of the AEC are both SMEs as well as multinationals companies. It is both companies from within and outside the Arctic circle. The growing membership represent all sectors; from the blue economy to satellites in space, from energy to infrastructure. What they have in common is an interest in developing the region to the benefit of the people living there. The AEC members are making policy and strategy into action on the ground – often with a background in the Arctic Investment Protocol.

Today the AEC has three key functions. One is the policy advocacy towards its stakeholders, two is the networking through partnerships and working groups, and three, the outreach and promotion of the Arctic region as a place of doing business. All of this happens from the headquarter in Tromsø, Norway but always with a global reach.

“The Arctic has emerged and is taking its place on the international stage. The region is no longer separated or isolated from international politics but is a part of the global arena. The Arctic is feeling the effects of the same megatrends of changing demographics, digitalisation, urbanization, and of course climate change, as the rest of the globe. The Arctic of tomorrow will be different than yesterday. We have to shape the Arctic of tomorrow, today”, says Mads Qvist Frederiksen, the AEC

The Arctic has enormous economic potential. We have sustainable fisheries fish to feed the world, rare earth elements to enable green transition, and low-cost renewable energy to power up further sustainable development.

To know more about AEC activities in the last year, read the Annual report available here.  For more information on the AEC contact