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Press Releases, 8/29/2014

The newly founded Arctic Economic Council tasked with fostering sustainable development in the Arctic

Press release 187/2014

The Arctic Economic Council (AEC), established between eight Arctic states and six organisations representing Arctic indigenous peoples, will hold its first meeting on 1–3 September in Iqaluit, Canada.

The Arctic Economic Council will be tasked with fostering sustainable development, including economic growth, environmental protection and social development in the Arctic. In the future, the main focus of its work will be on the enhancement of the economic operating conditions of indigenous peoples and SMEs, the reduction of obstacles to trade, the support for sustainable economic operations, and raising of issues the AEC itself considers topical.

The Arctic Economic Council will be established with the contribution of the Arctic Council, but the plan is that it would be an independent body, not attached to the Arctic Council. The intention is that the representatives of the Arctic Council member states’ governments and the trade and industry representatives of the Arctic Economic Council would meet at regular intervals to discuss the economic development of the Arctic.

The representative of the Finnish trade and industry in the AEC are Tero Vauraste, CEO and President, Arctia Shipping; Rauno Posio, Marketing Director, Lapland Safaris; and Ingmar E. Haga, Managing Director, Agnico Eagle Finland.

Finland has offered to chair the AEC. Finland’s goal is to have the AEC's operations firmly established and to define its role in relation to the Arctic Council and other agencies and organisations. Finland’s strengths include competencies related to Arctic business activities and environmental protection, and the forthcoming Finnish chairmanship of the Artic Council in 2017–2019.

The Arctic Council is the most important international forum for addressing Arctic issues. The actual member states of the Council are the Nordic Countries, Canada, Russia, and the United States, and six organisations representing indigenous peoples of the Artic serve as permanent participants. 12 states from Europe and Asia, and the European Union act as observers. The work of the Arctic Council combines such activities as monitoring of the Arctic environment, identification of pollution risks, environmental emergency preparedness, sustainable development, preservation of biodiversity, and the special issues of the Artic marine areas.

Additional information: Tero Vauraste, CEO and President, Arctia Shipping, tel. +358 30 620 7000 ; Rauno Posio, Marketing Director, Lapland Safaris, tel. +358 40 547 5070; and Ingmar E. Haga, Managing Director, Agnico Eagle Finland, tel. +358 40 700 3518

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Updated 8/29/2014

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