Arctic Economic Council Meeting
Communication development and environmental improvements are needed for the Arctic regions.
“The Arctic concentrates the interests of the leading states, not just Arctic states. <...> Now it is extremely important to set the right pace and have the rhetoric and the spirit of international cooperation and cooperation on the Arctic development into as constructive a direction as possible,” Alexey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.
“The Russia’s priorities are fairly ambitious. <...> When I chaired the council, we tried to make people the priority... The communities, the societies that live in the Arctic, they have four million people, who have problems, and we have to find solutions for them. We are working on communications, internet, fast communication. Megafon in Russia and other international companies are working on a very ambitious plan, they are planning to lay a cable along the Northern Sea Route,” Heidar Gudjonsson, Chief Executive Officer, Syn hf. (Vodafone)/Ursus Investments.
“The need for economic development in the Arctic region is obvious for all members of the Arctic Economic Council. The Russian part of the Arctic is populated by 4 million people. We need to focus on environmental safety, especially that changes in the Arctic impact the global climate,” Kirill Komarov, First Deputy General Director, Director of the Development and International Business Unit, ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation.
“Our priorities are same as Russia’s. There is a lot of room for improvement. Here is an example: there are connectivity issues across the Arctic,” Mads Frederiksen, Director, Arctic Economic Council.
“Connectivity needs to be everywhere. It is much like water and air – there is no development without it. Communications is the only industry that is growing twofold, threefold. It is important to ensure coverage in remote communities, so that local residents can stay up to date. Digitalization, which is a major thing, is the next in line. Without bus ducts and broadband access, one cannot fully ensure comprehensive digitalization of this region and effective dialogue,” Aleksandr Sobolev, Director for Strategy and Business Development, MegaFon.
“We would like to see nuclear power plants as the centre of international economic cooperation in the Arctic that generates multidimensional of economic operators, business communities, and institutes of economic development that give an impetus to small and medium business development and support indigenous peoples. An evident task on our agenda is to support traditional activities of indigenous peoples,” Nikolay Korchunov, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, Ambassador-at Large for Arctic Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
Global climate and business protocols are unstable
“We do care about the requirements to civil vessels, especially that the work that lies ahead concerns both the icebreaker fleet and ensuring the safety of the Northern Sea Route. I mean that permafrost is disappearing, while we need to make sure that the safety, rescue, service, medical, and border control infrastructure will operate efficiently,” Alexey Rakhmanov, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, United Shipbuilding Corporation.
“Any significant changes happening in high latitudes have an impact on the quality of life and its conditions on the planet. During its chairmanship in the Arctic Council, the Russian Federation will focus on environmental protection,” Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District.
“I have to admit that we have not been successful in the Arctic investment protocol. We had problems with the mechanism of corporate social responsibility. We need to make sure companies act responsibly and carefully. We need to do business the Arctic way,” Heidar Gudjonsson, Chief Executive Officer, Syn hf. (Vodafone)/Ursus Investmentss.
Developing logistics corridors
“The demand for the Northern Sea Route is growing every year. Since our chairmanship in 2006, the cargo traffic along this transport corridor has grown 16 times and reached 33 mln tonnes by the end of 2020. The Russian Federation will do everything in its power to make sure the Northern Sea Route is convenient and safe and results in lower emissions level to shorter distance,” Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District.
“We have determined our priorities for Russia’s chairmanship in the Arctic Economic Council. First of all, it is developing maritime navigation in the Arctic... Development of maritime transportation unites many players – ROSATOM, the United Shipbuilding Corporation, and international participants, who are vessel owners and provide services to mineral extraction operations... This is why when it comes to maritime navigation, coordination, improvements and application of most cutting-edge technical achievements need to be on a highest level,” Evgeniy Ambrosov, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Director of Marine Operations, Shipping and Logistics, PAO NOVATEK.
“Maritime navigation is the vascular system of the global economy, the key to development and progress. Recent events (a tanker grounded in the Suez Canal) have shown that one awkward move can stop all global trade, generate multi-billion-dollar losses, and even endanger someone’s life through disruption of critical supplies. We believe that the Northern Sea Transport Corridor provides the global trade with a stable and climate-friendly alternative with significant advantages, mainly because that this route is shorter and therefore will produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. It is safer, there are no transit fees... We have developed a plan for the NSR infrastructure development until 2035, prepared taking into account all parties, including scientists and environmentalists. The plan implies a phased development in three stages,” Kirill Komarov, First Deputy General Director, Director of the Development and International Business Unit, ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation.
Creating attractive conditions for business
“In 2020, Russia’s Arctic zone became the world’s largest preferential territory, where anyone willing to invest RUB 1 million or more in the region’s economy can receive infrastructure support, preferences and benefits,” Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District.
“A subordinate state organization, the Eastern State Planning Centre, the so-called Vostokgosplan, has been working with organizations for almost a year to create a digital model of the northern economy, which should allow both the Russian Federation to manage the Arctic more effectively and the international community to show all ties, using modern technology to achieve the goals set for the development of the Northern Sea Route, for the development of the Arctic,” Alexey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.
“We intend to continue developing and implementing the Arctic Investment Protocol. Alongside the development of a green economy, common areas of interest include economic capacity-building, risk management, introduction of the latest technologies not only in shipping, but also in aviation, rail transport, as well as in tourism, construction, and mining,” Evgeniy Ambrosov, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board, Director of Marine Operations, Shipping and Logistics, PAO NOVATEK.
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