North Sweden is an active partner in the Unions ambitions to establish effective EU financial instruments with the European Investment Bank EIB under the InvestEU program. NSPA, Northern Sparsely Populated Areas have discussions with the European Commission on the establishment of an Arctic Investment Platform.
EU financial instrument for the Arctic
Since the release of the OECD report on Northern Sparsely Populated Areas, the OECD and NSPA has investigated ways to deal with challenges unique for companies in the region. For this the Arctic Investment Platform offers a possible solution, by its purpose of in the future offer investment capital in Europe's Arctic regions. Long-term, the investment platform will act as a tool for the realization of the Arctic regions' strategic development. This includes supporting their smart specialization strategies and offer necessary capital to invest in identified growth areas.
Meeting with EU-Commissioner Jyrki Katainen
During the ongoing discussions about the Arctic Investment Platform, representatives from NSPAs region; North Sweden, Norway and Finland, has the opportunity to share their point of view. During a meeting with EU-Commissioner Jyrki Katainen from DG Jobs, Growth, Investments and Competitiveness, the NSPA gave their input on the matter and spoke about the investment gap which exist in the NSPA regions, which are large on surface but small in population. In these regions, even though there is a great potential for growth, companies do not have the same access to investment capital as other European regions. Within that context, the NSPA is working to develop the platform based on the common investment needs of the regions.
EU would benefit from an Arctic Investment Platform
As reported in the OECD report on NSPA, not only the regions - but all of the EU, would benefit from an Arctic Investment Platform. The platform would help the NSPA regions to reach full their development potential, which in turn would benefit the EU:s competitiveness. The platform would help achieve this by prioritizing financing of SMEs and business promotion in the region. The NSPA also mentions investment priorities that would help create collaborative, sustainable growth in Europes most northern areas. This would help the European Union to establish trade and regional development in their own arctic areas.
A first report, based on evaluation done during the second half of 2018, about the possibilities of creating an Artic Investment Platform, has already been published. The report identifies both possibilities and challenges that motivates the creation of such an investment instrument. The next step in the process of creating an Arctic Investment platform will be an Interreg Nord-project which will contintue throughout 2019-2020. The project will conclude in a more thorough analysis of prerequisites and possibilities in a joint investment platform for the NSPA regions.