The High North – a region of possibilities
The High North has enormous opportunities for business development both within fisheries, energy and minerals, as well as tourism, but there are many challenges that must be addressed, says head of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions Roar Flåthen.
One of the main challenges for the region is to find enough people. There has been a doubling of the number of jobs in the north in the petroleum industry since 2000. Also the other growing industries are in need of more people.
“It's been good times for fisheries and aquaculture, oil and gas in the North”, Flåthen says. “New developments and discoveries may provide even more economic development and there is great potential for new jobs”.
Cooperation is the key in facing the challenges in the North. Fisheries, aquaculture, industry, mining, petroleum, energy and tourism all have a possibility for growth in the High North, Flåthen believes.
The northern counties must do everything possible to create robust communities where people want to live. “We must avoid that Finnmark becomes a region where people commute into”, Flåthen says.
The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions on Thursday concluded a two-day conference called “One sea – many opportunities”. Trade Union activists from all over Norway gathered in Kirkenes to learn more about the region’s potential.
A region of results
Deputy leader of the Norwegian Labour Party and former Minister of Fisheries Helga Pedersen underlines that the High North is not only a region of possibilities, but also a region of results. The Agreement on delimitation of the Barents Sea and Arctic Ocean with Russia; the successful fight against poaching of fish in the Barents Sea; the population growth in Northern Norway and the high number of new jobs are all indications of the progress we have achieved in the contry's northernmost regions, Pedersen said during the confernce in Kirkenes.