There is an increasing interest in the Arctic region and the economic opportunities offered by the region. The Arctic economy positions itself in relation to broader global markets and issues in many respects. The importance of Arctic natural resources, especially the rare earth metals, in enabling the green transition has been recognised. The Arctic sea routes that will open up as a result of global warming are expected to serve freight transport between Asia and Europe, for example.
The EU’s Arctic Communication of 2021 emphasises the need to maintain stability, economic success and sustainability in the Arctic region. Climate change is recognised as a threat especially in the Arctic, but at the same time the region offers its inhabitants many jobs of a sustainable future. Many solutions affecting the future of the region require regional and multilateral cooperation.
The Arctic Economic Council brings together those involved in business and industry to share their perspective on the development of the Arctic region. Broad-based cooperation between the public and private sectors is also needed to achieve a favourable development in the Arctic region. The Arctic Economic Council’s cooperation with the Arctic Council reflects the emergence of economic issues alongside the protection of the region’s unique environment.
Finland has long-term expertise in operating in the Arctic and cold conditions. The Arctic region is a natural domestic market for Finnish companies and it offers a challenging and developing market for Finland’s Arctic expertise. New opportunities for business and industry are associated with themes, such as climate change, sustainable use of natural resources, functioning infrastructure, and digital services and solutions.
To be part of the development of the Arctic region, Finnish business and expertise must be involved in the Arctic networks and ecosystems. By understanding the Arctic context, the operating environment and the problems in the Arctic, products and services can be offered based on solutions and needs. The ongoing development of the Arctic expertise becomes more important in maintaining competitiveness as interest and competition in the region grow.
Mikko Martikainen - mikko.martikainen(at)gov.fi