Posted by: neilh10 | April 16, 2011

The Icelandic Economic Situation: no mention of fish

I have just read a report issued yesterday by the Iceland chamber of commerce, entitled ‘The Icelandic Economic Situation: A status report’. After 67 or so pages of analysis of the Icelandic financial system and the events of the last three years, it concludes:

Despite the current economic setbacks, Iceland’s future is bright. Iceland is a dynamic, technology-driven society with a young and well educated workforce. The country is endowed with abundant natural resources, which include rich fishing grounds, vast renewable energy sources (of which only a third has been harnessed), a plentiful supply of clean water and a natural environment and culture that draw an increasing number of tourists to the country each year…. Armed with these strengths, Iceland’s future is bright and prosperous.’

Clearly the Iceland Chamber of commerce are trying to promote Iceland as a place to do business. However, with this caveat in mind, the report reads very well: it comes across as factual and informative. The section on the Icesave dispute in particular should be essential reading for anyone who wants to develop a more than superficial understanding of this issue.

What I found particularly strange about this report was that the analysis of ‘Icelands economic situation’ revolved almost entirely around the banking system. Until the final paragraph (as quoted above) there are almost no mentions of Iceland’s fisheries management system and its abundant renewable energy supplies. It seems strange therefore that the report concludes the way it does.

UPDATE 12/08/2011

An updated version of the report has just been published. I had a look through it, and they have added several graphs that give an overview of the relative importance of different sectors of the Icelandic economy, including the fishing industry and the renewable energy sector. The updated report is available HERE

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