The gap between revenue and expenditure in the Greenlandic budget is increasing – unfortunately to the worse. The tendency seems to continue, as Greenland will be short of 80m Euro within ten years. This socioeconomic challenge requires action. And action is indeed possible proves new Ramboll Management Consulting report pointing towards fishery, mining, and tourism as catalysts for the Greenlandic society.
Based on various interviews, calculations, and industry analyses, Ramboll’s experts are assessing especially fishing, tourism as well as mining as sectors, which may generate the much needed tax-income to the public purse in a relatively short time span by creating local jobs.
- Our analyses show that with a focus on the right sectors, we can create sustainable, locally-based jobs and promote growth in large parts of the country. Not in ten years, but here and now, says Henrik Rosenberg Seiding, Group Director in RMC’s department of Sustainable Societies.
- There is, for instance, unexploited potential in fishing for new species and in new areas. The same is true for tourism, where visitors spend a small amount of time in Greenland and spend less money. Naturally, there is also potential in mining, new energy-intensive production as well as agriculture and hunting. However, growth does not appear on its own, but requires instant political action, says the Ramboll Director.
A recent and similar analysis by Ramboll of the development in six Arctic towns (Nuuk, Narvik, Tromsø, Gällivare, Luleå and Oulu) documents, for instance, that those societies that manage to create a broad-based economic structure with a well-educated labour force are also more resilient to economic downturns, and better at maintaining sustainable demographic, social, and environmental development.- We clearly see that the shortest way to long-term success is through a multi-pronged effort. It might sound obvious, but it is indeed not easy to succeed on so many arenas. We have therefore created a gross-catalogue with a range of opportunities, which may all scope Greenland’s future growth, says Henrik Rosenberg Seiding.
In the following years, the amount of elderly citizens in Greenland will increase. This is due to both the relatively large generations retiring from the job market and the rise in average life expectancy. Combined with a fixed Danish block grant this will result in a big imbalance between public expenditure and revenue.
Ramboll has, on behalf of Greenpeace and financed by the Swedish Postcode Lottery, analysed how the Greenlandic society – having the aforementioned imbalance in mind – can scope industry growth in the next ten years securing both public welfare and a sustainable society growth. The analysed sectors are fishery, tourism, agriculture, sealing as well as mining and energy-intensive industry.
Offshore extraction of oil and gas is not included in the analysis. It is well-known that this activity could potentially become a ‘game changer’ for Greenland. It has been subject to intense scrutiny in recent years, thoroughly mapping out both the possible socioeconomic gains and the societal, economic and not least environmental risks involved, while focus in this report is on initiatives within a relatively shorter time span.Ramboll is the leading consultancy in the Nordic countries with more than 400 employees in the Arctic area. Greenpeace has financed the report with means from the Swedish Postcode Lottery.