The Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) Greenland is joining the Arctic Economic Council (AEC), an international independent business organization representing companies and Indigenous organizations from across the Arctic region.
“We are joining the AEC to ensure the wellbeing of the Arctic Peoples and sustainable economic development in the region. Our code of ethics is in line with the principles of the AEC, and we see the organization as a guide for sustainable and responsible investments and development in the region”, says Kuupik V Kleist from ICC Greenland.
The ICC is one of the Permanent Participants of the Arctic Council – and, therefore, also in the Arctic Economic Council since it was established in 2014.
“I am very happy to have ICC Greenland as a member. This strengthens our representation in Greenland and our work to develop Indigenous businesses across the region. Instead of thinking North-South collaboration, we have to think more across the Arctic. A good example is what ICC Greenland is doing with the International Inuit Business Organisation (IIBA)”, says Mads Qvist Frederiksen, Director of the AEC.
The IIBA’s main purpose is to work for, that a more substantial part of the generated economy in the Arctic, gets invested in initiatives aiming at economic growth and better living conditions for the people in the communities.
“Greenland, like other Arctic communities, is in an urgent need for diversifying its economic activities. We are almost completely dependent on the export of fish, which makes the economy fragile and pushes the limits of resources. Greenland must diversify its economic activities so to ease the pressure on the fish stocks. Harvesting natural resources is a moving target; when nature and the world market economy speak, one has to obey”, says Kuupik V Kleist.
The Arctic is known as a region exporting fish, energy, and raw materials. Mining represents a big potential for economic growth in Greenland.
“Considering the fragile Arctic environment, there is skepticism towards mining minerals with radioactive content. While the recently inaugurated Government is strictly against uranium mining, it needs to make it very clear for international investors: the Government is not against mining activities in general”, says Kuupik V Kleist.
The AEC has working groups on issues like the blue economy, infrastructure, and investment as well as responsible resource development, maritime transportation, and connectivity. They develop different approaches for companies towards sustainability, envisioning the balance between economic, environmental, and societal considerations.