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Home BUSINESSArctic Business Forum to deepen cooperation despite crises
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Mon, 16 Feb, 2015 01:53:07 AM
FTimes Report, Feb 16
Press Release image.
The 6th Arctic Business Forum is scheduled for March 10 to 12 in Rovaniemi with a view to continue, sustain and deepen business cooperation, despite the region’s financial and political crises.
Organised by the Lapland Chamber of Commerce the forum will introduce the latest global and local developments affecting business possibilities in the region, said a press release.
The forum’s main issue is to identify and outline the current and forthcoming changes in the High North, stressing the following question marks: whether there is any necessity for reshaping visions and changing e-strategies, and whether a new kind of cold war like an uninvited guest is invalidating the promising arctic economic cooperation. 
The northern parts of Finland, Sweden and Norway as well as the regions of Murmansk and Arkhangelsk in Russia have been holding together investment potential value of 144 billion euros, chamber sources said, adding that the first global financial crisis had a clear impact on the arctic business. 
Raw material prices have been sinking rapidly and significantly and the long expected change seems to be in a distant future. Ukraine crisis has also brought the Arctic to the theatre of operations. 
Timo Rautajoki, President & CEO of Lapland Chamber of Commerce. Photo Lapland Chamber
New visions of Arctic development and investment potential with timeframe estimation are dealt in the forum. A brand new analysis is presented on Northern Sea Route, among other transport connection developments, and the most recent news will be heard from traditional steel and paper industries and on investments in mining and other branches of business. 
The programme also highlights Arctic economic cooperation and brings in solutions on how different interests in investments are to be settled. 
“This year can be a turning point in the Arctic Business Cooperation. The Arctic Economic Council was founded in September 2014 with the strong support of Canada, chair of Arctic Council.
One month after Arctic Business Forum the United States is taking the chair from Canada. Arctic Business Cooperation is not on the chairmanship agenda of the USA and that is a major challenge. Business communities in the High North should now meet more than ever in this critical political situation. We should absolutely not let the already open doors for Arctic cooperation to be closed,” said Lapland Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Timo Rautajoki with an emphasis.
“The change expected is not similar in all parts of the Arctic. At this moment we should also have a deeper analysis of the Arctic Region. It is often said that we have two kinds of Arctic, undeveloped and developed. As a matter of fact, we have four kinds of Arctic. A traditional Arctic with few inhabitants and no infrastructure, Russian Arctic with extremely sparse population and poor infrastructure in the north and big cities with industry in the south, North Calotte Arctic with more inhabitants, modern industry, sustainable production with best available technologies, good infrastructure with even SMEs and entrepreneurs, and then a kind of runner up Arctic with countries which are observer members in the Arctic Council with a strong aim to be involved in Arctic cooperation and business. All this reacts differently in crisis situations,” said Rautajoki.
Arctic Business Forum is an international event attracting companies and business-related stakeholders from Finland and abroad. Special attention is paid to networking possibilities and registered delegates have an opportunity to set meetings for the conference days before the event. New business partners may be reached in many occasions during the event starting from business visits on day one. 
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