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Fri, 13 Mar, 2015 03:35:20 AM
6th Arctic Business Forum wraps up in Rovaniemi
FTimes Report by Masud Riyad, Mar 13
 
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Speakers at the Arctic Business Forum on Thursday underscored upgrading the infrastructure, smooth transportation, a common set of business strategies and developing corporate services to promote business in the Arctic region.
 
The three-day forum on the concluding day discussed mining, development of wind power, industrialization, renewable energy, and forest industries, with the speakers emphasising preparing a common set of goals by businesses and the governments.
 
“The governments of Finland, Sweden and Norway need to issue a single political opinion on which northern railway or road option is to be included in the next TEN programme,” remarked
Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries Director General Tarmo Pipatti in the keynote paper presented in the session on ‘what’s new in the arctic – new opening and new solution’.
 
Pipatti said mobility of workforce should be facilitated and permit processes should be simplified, reducing bureaucracy.
 
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In his opinion, the Finnish and Norwegian governments need to identify how the Norwegian oil and gas reserves could be used to build a common infrastructure. “Mining projects require road and railway connections, local planning and land use planning. These are demanding projects in terms of logistics,” he surmised.
 
Pipatti said the traffic infrastructure on the Northern Sea Route and in the Arctic Ocean is a prerequisite for a number of projects, indicating the importance of revising TEN in 2023.
 
Earlier, the day’s programme began with the speech of Japanese Ambassador to Finland Kenji Shinoda who underscored the significance of a major transport between the central Europe and the northern Arctic. 
 
He emphasized cooperation among the entrepreneurs in and outside the Arctic regions for opening new opportunities. 
 
Johanna Ikävalko, ministerial adviser to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, in his speech focused on business concept development, investment possibilities, and networking within
Nordic countries.
 
Pointing out the importance of mining in the region, FinMin Executive Director Pekka Suomela said in 2010, the nominal value of world mineral production was nearly four times than in 2002.
 
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“During this period, the growth in value has been significantly greater than the growth in the world’s gross domestic product,” he said.
 
Juha Mäkimattila of Stora Enso spoke on renewable energy. He said the climate change is putting increasing pressure on natural resources.
 
“World needs to produce more food, fibre, fodder and fuel and, at the same time, protect fragile ecosystems – changes in water, energy and fuel pricing and availability may lead to significant changes that would impact various geographical areas differently,” pointed out Mäkimattila.
 
Johanna Ikäheimo, chairman of the board of Lappset Group, who moderated the ‘Industry in the European High North’ session, said tourism is the largest field of industries in the Finnish Lapland accounting for 15 per cent of the state’s income.
 
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