Tero Vauraste: Arctic Economic Council Developing Business Opportunities in the Arctic

The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) is an independent business forum established to facilitate Arctic business-to-business activities, promote and support sustainable business and provide a circumpolar business perspective to the work of the Arctic Council. The AEC currently has members from all eight Arctic countries. In addition, companies from all parts of the world are welcome to participate in its work.

The work of the Arctic Economic council is based on five overarching themes:

  1. Establishing strong market connections between the Arctic states;

  2. Creating stable and predictable regulatory frameworks;

  3. Encouraging public-private partnerships for infrastructure investments;

  4. Facilitating knowledge and data exchange between industry and academia;

  5. Traditional indigenous knowledge, stewardship and focus on small businesses.

The decision to establish the AEC was made during the Canadian chairmanship of the Arctic Council in fall 2014 with Finland actively supporting and promoting the developments. As the AEC’s foundational documents and rules of procedure have recently been adopted and we are now getting in full swing with the operations, we expect to reach concrete results with the promotion of the AEC’s overarching themes. We will be a body that is recognized for its expertise in terms of developing the business opportunities in the Arctic, for instance, in developing the regulatory schemes or lowering international trade barriers. Furthermore, the infrastructural developments with the help of Public Private Partnerships are supported by the work of the AEC’s working groups.

I was glad to present the Council’s work during the recent Northern Dimension Forum in St. Petersburg with my co-vice-chair of the Council, Mr Evgeniy Ambrosov from Russia. We participated several panels and moderated discussions on Arctic developments. It was broadly acknowledged, that there is good potential for collaboration between the Arctic Economic Council and the Northern Dimension actors. The overarching themes of the AEC are very much in line with the work of the Northern Dimension Business Council. In addition, the AEC has great interest towards the priority themes of the Northern Dimension – transport and environment, in particular – and research done on these themes. We also expect that the recently released Arctic Policy by the European Union will further enhance the collaborative potential, as the policy outlies sustainable development in the Arctic as one of its’ main objectives.

Tero Vauraste
Vice-Chair, Arctic Economic Council
CEO, Arctia Ltd