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Arctic Yearbook 2012
and resource development with high importance including renewable energy and the fishing
industry (Utanrikisraduneytid, 2009: 31-39).
In the Norwegian High North strategy, one of the “Government’s most important priorities
in the years ahead will be to take advantage of the opportunities in the High North”
(Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2006: 5) including economic and (maritime)
business activities, particularly sustainable use of offshore petroleum and renewable marine
resources, and marine industries, such as bioprospecting (Norwegian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, 2009: 18-25). For strengthening economic growth in the High North “knowledge,
innovation and exploitation of the inherent advantages of the region are key elements” (ibid:
59). Norway is very actively engaged in activities of oil and natural gas drilling, and
consequently its strategy (re)defines the High North as a “new petroleum province” (ibid:
Through its Arctic policy, Russia aims to turn the current situation of its Arctic characterized
by “remoteness from basic industrial centers, high resource consumption and dependence of
economic activities and life-support of the population on deliveries of fuel, foodstuffs and
essential commodities from other regions of Russia” (Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 2009). Further,
Russia aims to make its Arctic region to become “a strategic resource base” and “solution of
problems of social and economic development” of the whole federation (ibid). Russia also
ties social and economic development together in its State Policy and would like to “develop
the Arctic resources base through improved technological capabilities” (ibid).
Sweden sees the Arctic region as “rich in natural resources”, such as forest, fish, energy and
minerals and with new opportunities and “potential for further development and greater
growth in several areas” (Government Offices of Sweden, 2011: 25-26). Economic
development and business interests, such as mining, petroleum and forestry, and expanding
free trade (of both the entire Arctic and the Barents Region) are identified as playing an
important role for the Swedish economy and its further development. Consequently, in the
Swedish strategy, economic development is highlighted as one of the priority areas of the
country’s Arctic strategy, and also tied with Swedish research and industries, and their Arctic
and environmental expertise.
The US policy deals with issues related to economic development to a lesser extent and in
less detail. However, the growing awareness of the Arctic being “rich in resources” is among