Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic September 05, 2014 - 4:27 pm

Baffinland CEO Tom Paddon to chair Arctic Economic Council

AEC executive committee includes shipping company bosses from Finland, Russia

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Baffinland CEO Tom Paddon (first on the right) at a panel discussion on the future of the Arctic Economic Council held Jan. 29, 2014 at the Northern Lights conference in Ottawa. Paddon is now chair of the AEC's executive committee. (FILE PHOTO)
Baffinland CEO Tom Paddon (first on the right) at a panel discussion on the future of the Arctic Economic Council held Jan. 29, 2014 at the Northern Lights conference in Ottawa. Paddon is now chair of the AEC's executive committee. (FILE PHOTO)

Tom Paddon, the CEO of Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. will serve as chair of the Arctic Economic Council’s inaugural executive committee , the council said Sept. 4 in a news release.

This announcement came a day after the AEC wrapped up its behind-closed-doors founding meeting Sept. 3 in Iqaluit.

At that meeting, the Arctic Economic Council agreed on how it will govern itself and on its relationship with the eight-nation Arctic Council.

The other members of the AEC’s executive committee are:

• Tara Sweeney, executive vice president of the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. in Alaska;

• Tero Vauraste of Finland, the CEO of Arctia Shipping Ltd., which does business in the Baltic Sea, the Arctic and Antarctic regions; and

• Evgeny Ambrosov, senior vice president of OAO Sovcomflot, Russia’s largest shipping company, with a fleet of 160 vessels, specializing in the transportation of oil, natural gas and petroleum products.

In a news release, Paddon said the group will start by focusing on four areas:

• strong market connections between the Arctic states;

• public-private partnerships for infrastructure;

• creating stable and predictable regulatory frameworks; and

• knowledge and data exchange between industry and academia.

The council also said “indigenous knowledge, stewardship and a focus on small businesses” will play what it calls a “central role” in the council’s work.

“Industries such as fishing, herding, hunting and tourism are essential to Arctic business development and to the livelihoods of the peoples of the Arctic,” the council said.

In a speech on the morning of Sept. 2, Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Arctic Council minister, said the council would help northerners become “the decision-makers.”

Right now, the Arctic Economic Council is made up of 42 business representatives appointed by the eight Arctic states and the Arctic Council’s permanent indigenous participant organizations.

The Norwegian business community has agreed for now to pay the AEC’s administrative costs, the council said.

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