October 2020


October 18th, 13:30 – 16:30 (registration opens at 12:30)

SA Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise (
Address: Borgartúni 35, Reykjavik, Iceland


On October 18, 2018 Arctic Business Summit will take place in Reykjavik back-to-back with Arctic Circle Assembly 2018. The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association will join forces with the Arctic Economic Council (AEC) to organize the 2018 Arctic Business Summit.


Mr. Arne O. Holm, Editor-in-Chief, High North News



13:30   Welcome
Mr. Arne O. Holm, Editor in Chief, High North News


13:35   Global Outlook on Economy
Ms. Ásdís Kristjánsdóttir, Economist, Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise


13:50   Protectionism as a Threat to Sustainable Business Operations
Mr. Tero Vauraste, Chair, AEC; President & CEO, Arctia Ltd.


14:05   Plenary discussion


  • Freedom of trade in the Arctic context: Protectionism and the effects it has on Arctic trade and economic development?
  • What role does the Arctic play in the global context?
  • How can we ensure responsible and long-term development of both businesses and local communities in the Arctic?
  • How can we improve the connection between Arctic value chains and the global ones?
  • The Arctic has an excellent track record in resource management. How can we ensure continued profitable, responsible and sustainable development of the Arctic?
  • Are new growth models necessary for the Arctic?
  • What are the needs driving Arctic development?


14:35   Health break


14:45   Group workshop

Open Questions:

  • How will the latest developments affect your business and in particular the way you conduct business in the Arctic?
  • What are the necessary tools to navigate in this new climate?
  • Who are the key players that must be involved to ensure actions, commitments, and collaborations?


15:30   Setting the course: Iceland Preparing to Lead Arctic Collaboration
Mr. Bjarni Benediktsson, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of Iceland


15:40 Aiming at Arctic – Perspective from “lower 48”
Hon. Paul LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, United States of America


16:00   Dialogue with business representatives


16:20   Concluding remarks
Mr. Heidar Gudjonsson, AEC Vice Chair, Iceland.


16:30   Adjourn


The event is by invitation only.

For more information here

The 3rd Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit (TOW Summit) was held on June 27-28, 2018. in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan in collaboration with the Hokkaido Government, Hokkaido University and Hokkaido Committee for Economic Development.

Program for the 3rd Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit is available here. A recap of the event was published on July 6, 2018.

Presentations are available here

Practical information about the event can be found here

Questions? Please contact


The TOW Summit convenes representatives of business, Technology, science and decision-makers to discuss the role of Connectivity in the Development of the Arctic and the region’s business opportunities. It follows the success of the inaugural Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit in Barrow, Alaska in 2016 and the 2017 Summit in Oulu, Finland.

The two-day Summit includes panel sessions and discussions with experts from across the globe, networking opportunities and site visits to exciting Hokkaido-based companies working in the field of connectivity solutions and IT.

The relatively recent developments in the Arctic region have put Hokkaido, often considered as a peripheral region in the wider Japanese or East Asian context, into a new position. Hokkaido possesses a geographical advantage vis-à-vis the Arctic due to its location between the Bering Strait and the rest of the East Asia. Therefore, both private and public actors in Hokkaido have showed great interest e.g. in the commercial shipping activities through the Northern Sea Route and the plans to connect East Asia and Europe with submarine data cables going through the Arctic waters. The recent investments in Arctic Research in Hokkaido University have further strengthened the image of Hokkaido. Being Japan’s gate to the Arctic, Hokkaido has been an initiator and active participant in multilateral cooperation between northern regions already for decades.


Focus areas:

  1. Subsea data cables

    One of the factors driving the Arctic’s future is global digitalisation. As underlined in the AEC’s Telecommunication Infrastructure Working Group’s report “Arctic Broadband – Recommendations for an Interconnected Arctic”, the Arctic is a region with dispersed population, harsh climate and lower rates of broadband adoption than non-Arctic regions. Without access to affordable and stable broadband, the rural parts of the Arctic will be left behind of the development brought by digitalization. But if realized, plans for improved connectivity in or through the Arctic can be a game-changer not just for the region, but also globally. The Arctic has a geographic advantage: uniting 3 continents, it provides the shortest link for data cables, the trading routes of digital economy. What is the status of the planned subsea data cable projects for the Arctic? How can we secure collaboration between the different stakeholders? How can the planned projects serve the needs of the Arctic societies and serve as an enabler for the region’s business development.
  2. New opportunitiesCold temperatures are amongst the Arctic’s most valuable natural resources. In an era of digital connectivity, an increased need for faster internet connections and larger digital storage units, the Arctic’s location on the top of the world gives the region a competitive advantage. According to the Data Center Risk Index 2016, the Arctic region has the lowest risk environment for data centres. What opportunities does improved connectivity bring in terms of ICT and business development? What opportunities does the new digital infrastructure in the Arctic region offer for actors outside the Arctic? And, how is the development of the ICT industry in the Arctic region connected with businesses representing the non-Arctic part of the world? How can we best reap the benefits of the Arctic’s cold climate and the potential for datacenters? How do we ensure that the region isn’t left behind in an increasingly digitalized world?
  3. Navigation and Connectivity at Arctic Seas
    The commercial shipping activities in the Arctic are increasing. With more than 60 ships-of-opportunity approaching e.g. the Canadian Arctic next summer and with more than 30 expedition cruise liners under construction, we will see an increased activity at Arctic seas. How can we best ensure situational awareness in the remote Arctic waters? How can new (satellite) technology serve the shipping industry? And what can we learn from those already operating in the Arctic?


After the TOW Summit the Sustainability is Cool in Arctic Tourism seminar will be held on 28 June 2018 in Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland will organize the seminar in cooperation with Hokkaido University, Hokkaido Government, Hokkaido Committee for Economic Development, Team Finland, Business Finland, Visit Finland and Embassy of Finland in Tokyo.

Key issues that will be examined include:

  • How do arctic fragile environment, indigenous cultures, changing seasons and sparsely located population affect in tourism companies both in Japan and in Finland?
  • What kind of solutions and problems companies have had in combining profitable business and sustainability in the arctic region?
  • How to best combine indigenous cultures and tourism?
  • Opening arctic tourism markets from Japanese perspectives: possibilities and challenges.

More information can be found here

Together with the City of Oulu, the AEC organized the 2nd Top of the World ARctic Broadband Summit in Oulu, Finland in June 2017. 

Based on the success of the first Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit in 2016, the AEC decided to organize the second Arctic Broadband Summit together with the City of Oulu in June 2017. The dates for the second Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit were 14-15 June 2017.

Focus Areas: Safe, Competent and Interconnected Arctic

Finnish business community took over the AEC Chairmanship at the AEC Annual Meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska in May 2017. The 2017 TOW Arctic Broadband Summit will focus on the development of Arctic broadband in the light of the Finnish businesses’ AEC Chairmanship themes “Safe Arctic”, “Competent Arctic” and “Interconnected Arctic”.

The two-day TOW Arctic Broadband Summit included panel sessions and discussions with experts from across the Arctic region, networking opportunities and site visits to innovative and exciting Oulu companies working in the field of connectivity solutions.

Read the full program here.

You can find presentations from the event here.

Press release is available here.

For more information about the TOW Summit, please read the TOW brochure.


Please don’t hesitate to contact


EU Arctic Stakeholder Forum

After the Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit, the EU Arctic Stakeholder Forum takes place in Oulu on June 15th and 16th. It is an open event and our participants are welcome to join.

For more information see here

Together with partners, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and Inuit Arctic Business Alliance, the AEC Telecommunications Infrastructure Working Group organized a Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit in Barrow, Alaska in July 2016.

See the full program of the event here.

Read the press release from the event here.

See a video of the event here.

Presentations from the Top of the World Arctic Broadband Summit, Barrow AK:

Ali Hirji_ORION

Bryan Hartin_Iridium

Doug Sosnik_Political Profile

Dr. Heather Hudson_UAA

Elizabeth Pierce_Quintillion

Greg Wyler_OneWeb

Krag Johnsen_GCI

Michael Perkinson_Sustainable Investment Strategy_ Guggenheim

Paul Flaherty_Northwestel Overview

Robert McCoy_UAF