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News, 6/21/2017
Exploring Common Solutions - Finnish Chairmanship - Arctic Council

Arctic Economic Council, the voice of responsible economic development in Arctic cooperation 

The Arctic Economic Council (AEC) works to promote sustainable economic growth, environmental protection and social sustainability in the Arctic region. Improving the operating conditions of companies, reducing barriers to trade and supporting sustainable economic activities are among the main objectives of the AEC.

Tero Vauraste is chairing the AEC for the duration of Finland’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

Tero Vauraste ja Liisa Holmberg. Kuva_House of Lapland
Tero Vauraste is the chair of the Arctic Economic Council in 2017–2019. In the picture, Vauraste and Rector of the Sámi Education Institute Liisa Holmberg. Photo: House of Lapland

Who are you and what are your duties during Finland’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council?

I am President and CEO of Arctia Ltd and a member of the AEC and its Executive Committee. During Finland’s Arctic Chairmanship starting on 9 May 2017, I am Chair of the AEC.

What are the responsibilities of the Arctic Economic Council?

The AEC promotes sustainable and responsible economic development in the Arctic region by bringing a business perspective to Arctic issues and by communicating with the Arctic Council and companies operating in the Arctic region. The AEC’s four-member Executive Committee and its larger Governance Committee consist of representatives of businesses from each Arctic State and Arctic organisation.

Working Groups established for selected business areas, such as Arctic maritime transportation, responsible resource development and telecommunications are active and an essential element of the AEC’s activities. New working groups will be established to boost sustainable investments in the areas of travel and tourism, fishing and use of marine resources, as well as aviation and other infrastructure.

What are Finland’s most important goals during the Arctic Chairmanship from the AEC’s perspective? What can Finland do to play a role?

Finnish business life is actively involved in the Arctic Economic Council’s activities. During the Chairmanship, we want to promote the five overarching themes of the AEC, which are:

  • Establishing stronger market connections between the Arctic States
  • Encouraging public-private partnerships for infrastructure investments
  • Promoting stable and predictable regulatory frameworks
  • Facilitating knowledge and data exchange between industry and academia
  • Taking traditional indigenous knowledge, sustainable development and small and local businesses into account in all activities.

Under these themes, we aim to support especially the creation of good business connections and companies’ networking. We intend to organise various events and company presentations and foster close contacts with the key stakeholders, to raise ideas for future analyses and projects, and to promote the visibility of Finland’s Arctic expertise.

We aim to contribute to the development of the Arctic region into an area that is known for its good connections, expertise and safety.

In Finland, the activities of the Arctic Economic Council are supported by an extensive network of business and public administration actors, which meet on a regular basis to coordinate their views and to raise ideas for new initiatives. Finnish companies’ opportunities for influencing the development of the AEC and sustainable Arctic business life are good thanks to the active support group.

What is your most memorable Arctic experience?

Well, I remember especially the opportunity to discuss with former US President Barack Obama in connection with the Glacier Conference in Anchorage. We met at the hotel gym and talked about Arctic matters, icebreaking and skiing.

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