Arctic Business Forum ends: more cooperation stressed

FinnTribune report: The two-day seventh Arctic Business Forum in Rovaniemi wrapped up on Thursday with a visionary target of sustainable growth and extensive cooperation among the Arctic countries.

Speakers on the concluding day emphasised collective efforts to improve the region’s visibility among the potential investors.

The key topics of the last day’s discussions were investment, transportation, logistics, innovation, financing, Arctic nature products, the future of European Arctic region, and the business environment in the Arctic region.

The discussions on Thursday were held in the Korundi hall. Canadian Ambassador to Finland Andree Cooligan and Russian Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s International Cooperation Department Deputy Director Tatiana Legchilina addressed the opening session of the day.

Cooligan said alternative and renewable energy and sustainability of the north, increased knowledge, and terrestrial and marine cryosphere to support adaptation and improve climate models are high on Canada’s agenda.

The Canadian envoy also named application of innovative designs and materials and techniques to increase energy efficiency as two other priority areas of development in Canada and the high Arctic region.

Tatiana Legchilina in her address presented an outline of the development strategies of the Russian arctic policy and the ongoing operations, business challenges, and also the possibilities for extensive cooperation among the countries sharing the Arctic region.

In a plenary session on ‘transport, logistics & innovations’ on the day, four keynotes were presented.

Aviation WSP Vice President Ted Lennox from Canada presented a brief outline titled ‘Arctic aviation-circumpolar perspective, current activity, challenges and opportunities, the future and regional challenges.’

GeoVista Senior Project Manager Hans Lindberg from Sweden presented a paper on ‘minerals in Barents project and transport and logistics needs.’

The keynote presented by Port of Luleä Hamn CEO Henrik Vuorinen from Sweden was ‘project Malmporten Luleä is a huge investment project affecting logistics in iron ore transport in whole of Barents.’ Roadscanners CEO Timo Saarenketo presented a paper on ‘road maintenance innovations in the Arctic.’

The organic and wild Lapland’s natural products, food and cosmetics business, and the potential growth were the focus of another session of the day where Forest of Lapland CEO Antii Kuivalainen, Reindeer Herder’s Association Director Anne Ollila and Arctic Wariors CEO Ilkka Kauppinen spoke about the local businesses.

Murmansk’s Northern Chamber of Commerce & Industry President Anatoly Glushkov, Swedish Västerbotten Investment Agency Director Andres Wangby, Norway’s Nordland County Council Senior Adviser Torbörn Trane Jensen, Swedish Norrbotten County Administrative Board Business and Development Manager Andres Lind, and Lapland Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Taija Jurmu tool part in the discussion at the session.

The closing session of the forum highlighted new business opportunities as well as the new challenges and changes in the Arctic mobility.

Lapland Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Timo Rautajoki moderated the session, participated, among others, by Arctic Centre Project Coordinator & Researcher Nafisa Yeasmin, who is also the chairman of Arctic Immigrants’Association, and Polarisk Managing Partner Mikä Mered from UK.

The speakers stressed adopting a new action plan, considering the mobility of human resources in the Arctic region and suggested better integration of business environments into strategic and policy issues of economic development.

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