In 2018 the AEC had a very productive year with more than 70 outreach events and welcomed five new members. The AEC also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UArctic. Three new AEC Working Groups started their operations, these are Working Groups on Connectivity, Energy, and Investments & Infrastructure. In addition to these new Working Groups, the AEC also has active Working Groups on Maritime Transportation and Responsible Resource Development. 

The AEC has also served as expert partners in two different projects, the AEC has contributed to qualifying new knowledge on Arctic business development. Both Arctic Business Analysis (collaborative project between the AEC and Nordic Council of Ministers) and the Analysis on Business Financing in the Arctic (in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark) were launched in 2018.

The highlights of the year include the different AEC gatherings and outreach events. In January 2018 The Arctic Economic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers presented their report “Arctic Business Analysis” at a joint side event during Arctic Frontiers. The AEC arranged together with the Arctic Frontiers conference “Financing the Arctic – is the Arctic investable?” Director of the Arctic Economic Council Secretariat, Anu Fredrikson spoke of the need for global connections and openness in Arctic business development.

In April the third consecutive AEC Governance Committee meeting was held in Helsinki, Finland hosted by AEC Finland and Arctia Ltd. The AEC Governance Committee comprises of one business representative from each of the Arctic states and permanent participant organizations. The meeting was the first AEC event taking place in Finland during the Finnish business community’s chairmanship.

The 2018 Annual Meeting was held in Kiruna, Sweden in May and graciously hosted by LKAB. The Annual Meeting approved a new strategic plan for the years 2019-2021. The new strategy underlines the AEC’s wish to link the Arctic value chains even closer to the global value chains.

On June 27-28, 2018 the 3rd AEC Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit took place in Sapporo, Japan. More than 20 speakers and 100 participants from 10 different countries gathered at the event.

In October the Arctic Business Summit was organized for the 4th time and gathered 26 business executives in Reykjavik. The summit was organized by the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association and the AEC. The Arctic Business Summit provides an international meeting place for business executives representing different industries operating in or with an interest in the Arctic.

To read more about the AEC in 2018, please find the full AEC Secretariat Annual Report here.