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Home BUSINESS5th Arctic Business Forum begins in Rovaniemi
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Tue, 11 Mar, 2014 12:05:52 AM
FTimes Report, March 11
FTimes Photo by Shahidul Islam.
The fifth annual conference of the Arctic Business Forum (ABF) begins today in Rovaniemi, the heart of Lapland, to share information on challenges to investment and business in the European High North. 
Day one of the 3-day event entails pre-conference activities with working sessions slated for Wednesday and Thursday at Korundi House.
The Lapland Chamber of Commerce is hosting the conference which will see a large number of business personalities getting together from home and abroad. Business leaders, academics, researchers, diplomats, and high government officials will discuss the latest developments and future prospects of business and investment in the burgeoning arctic economy. The first ABF conference was held in 2010.
Aimo Takala, Chairman of the Board, Lapland Chamber of Commerce, will launch the working sessions with his introductory remarks on Wednesday morning. Andrée Cooligan, Canadian Ambassador to Finland, Hannele Pokka, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment of Finland, and Grigory Straty, Deputy Governor of Murmansk Region, Russia, will also address the inaugural session.
The topics of Wednesday’s working sessions include “Climate Change and Business,” “New Arctic Transport Routes”, “New Energy Innovations - Any Effects to Arctic Investment?” and “The Arctic Design Debate”.
The concluding day of the conference will commence with the opening remarks of Matti Anttonen, Under Secretary of State, External Economic Relations, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and Pentti Mäkinen, SME Director, Confederation of Finnish Industries. The day features working sessions on “Mining in the European High North - Still Profitable and Sustainable?”, “Arctic Tourism”, and “New Visions and the Wrap-Up Debate”.
“The annual Arctic Business Forum introduces the latest business developments and future prospects of the area forgetting not the worldwide context,” said Lapland Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Timo Rautajoki.
Photo Source Arctic Business Forum website.
According to a Lapland Chamber of Commerce study, the European High North holds ongoing and planned investments of more than 100 billion euro in this decade.
Vast natural resources and melting of the Arctic sea ice have turned the region into an interesting new destination for investment, said the conference organisers pointing out the impacts of global warming on the region. 
ABF leaders said updated information would help the conference participants get new ideas and business concepts under the emerging circumstances. 
"Business-wise, the European High North has become an exciting new destination for investments," said Timo Rautajoki.
The northern areas of Finland, Sweden, and Norway and regions of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk in Russia hold ongoing and planned investments worth more than 100 billion euro in this decade alone, said the chamber leader, adding that the area in many ways was going through a new challenging era.
He said, “The 5th Arctic Business Forum covers two days of world-class presentations by invited speakers, a trade show, and a high class social programme.”
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