The 2020 Arctic Frontiers conference gathered numerous Arctic stakeholders at the end of January to the home town of the AEC, Tromsø.

The AEC’s Icelandic Chairman, Heidar Gudjonsson, was among the keynote speakers at the Arctic Frontiers conference plenary. Discussing future business in the Arctic, Gudjonsson highlighted the key role of transport corridors and infrastructure development in order to diversify the Arctic economy.

While the Arctic is a region rich in natural resources, the Arctic opportunities are often outside the international chains of transport. The example of Iceland shows that with infrastructure in place, numerous new opportunities arise: while Iceland’s export was earlier heavily dominated by export of cod, its share has now diminished from 75 to 10 per cent. Instead, new industries such as biomedicine and food supplements have grown out of fisheries.

The important question also applicable in the Arctic is how to do more with less in the future, and how to produce more efficiently? Sustainable economic development is also a key factor for the Arctic societies by provides new work places locally and helping to sustain a thriving culture.

Gudjonsson’s full speech is available here.

In addition to speaking at the conference plenary, Mr. Gudjonsson also address a workshop focusing on Arctic Ocean Decade. The AEC’s Blue Economy Working Group also contributed in an Arctic Council side event focusing on Blue Bio-Economy.