The sum invested in tourism will go to a number of Nordic co-operation initiatives between 2021 and 2024. These are concrete projects in areas such as sustainable tourism, the sharing of statistics, marketing, product development with a focus on cultural tourism, and innovative digital solutions.
The investment is a result of the Nordic tourism plan for 2019-2021, which the ministers for trade and industry agreed on in 2019, and which will support the individual countries’ policies and strategies for tourism. In concrete terms, the projects are an implementation of the Nordic tourism plan, but they are also designed to support an industry that has been hit extremely hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Travel and tourism are expected to eventually recover after the pandemic. But the tourism industry is facing a significantly changed market with new travel habits and fresh demands from customers. It also means that new types of initiatives and forms of co-operation are needed. The aim of this initiative is to support projects where we see clear Nordic benefits from co-operation,” says Finland’s Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä and chair of the Nordic ministers for tourism in 2021.
Sustainable mineral production
At the meeting, the ministers for trade and industry also agreed to boost co-operation in sustainable mineral production to ensure that the Nordic Region can, as much as possible, establish supply chains and value chains for crucial raw materials. The background is that the green transition and extensive electrification we’re faced with demand technology that requires large amounts of raw materials.
The ministers have agreed that closer co-operation on the security of supply for raw materials is essential. Increased co-operation is also needed within the circular economy based on minerals, such as in research and innovation, on the reuse of minerals, and on Nordic interests in the EU and internationally, including the Arctic. At the same time, management at all levels must also take into account the other environmental goals.
At the meeting, the ministers approved a declaration with the aim of promoting Nordic co-operation on sustainable solutions for the extraction, processing, production and recycling of raw materials. Among other things, the declaration states that the Nordic countries should invest in co-operation and dialogue to ensure the stability, traceability, and responsibility of the countries’ supply of raw materials.
Importance of achieving climate goals
Access to raw materials is of vital importance if the Nordic Region is to achieve its ambitious climate goals and contribute to the EU’s pioneering Green Deal and Fit for 55 packages. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how vulnerable production and supply chains in the raw materials industry are, and in the future one can also expect tougher international competition, as countries will want to secure their own needs.
Sustainable mineral extraction is also of great importance in the work of achieving the Nordic vision, which aims for the Nordic Region to be the world’s most sustainable and integrated region by 2030.
The pandemic and Nordic challenges
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on business were also discussed at the meeting. A speech by Risto Siilasmaa, founder and chair of the IT security company F-Secure, served as an inspiration to the ministers’ discussion about the challenges and opportunities that the pandemic brings for business and what it means for Nordic co-operation.