Roundtable Discussion with Foreign Ministers

The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) focused on sustainable business development in the Arctic when the Norwegian and Danish Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide and Jeppe Kofod, invited to a roundtable discussion in Tromsø.

The reason for the visit was that both the Kingdom of Denmark and Norway are working on new Arctic strategies. The Foreign Ministers’ visit to Tromsø provided an opportunity to get input from organizations working in the Arctic.

The theme of the roundtable held in August 2020 was «Knowledge in the Arctic». The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) was represented by its Director Anu Fredrikson, who focused on sustainable business development in the Arctic.

– If you look at the rhetorics used in the global discussion about the Arctic, this has developed more and more into a debate on security policy. The most important stabilizing factor in the Arctic is having people living in the region and their having a job to go to, highlighted Fredrikson.

Fredrikson also emphasized the role of infrastructure as the key to sustainable business development in the Arctic. Infrastructure enables business development, which in turn will improve living conditions in the Arctic. When speaking of infrastructure, this should always include digital infrastructure which connects the world and is a prerequisite for resilient societies.

The roundtable was moderated by Arctic Frontiers. Other participants were representatives from The High North Research Center for Climate and the Environment (the Fram Center), The Norwegian Polar Institute, Center for the Ocean and the Arctic and UIT – The Arctic University of Norway.