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2024-05-10 Krissie Winberg_GE-Office-1 (7)


3. July 2024

Summer is approaching – in some parts of the country more clearly than others. For large parts of the Greenlandic business community, summer is peak season. This goes for tourism and construction, for example, while other industries can take well-deserved time off because their “high season” is at other times of the year.

For Greenland and us, the time right after summer is always exciting. August and September are always buzzing with life and visitors from outside. Business people, politicians, opinion makers, and others often visit Greenland during this time. To many of us, this is almost an industry in itself because formal visits and conferences are a good source of income. But it’s also a great opportunity to showcase Greenland and create the foundation that will take us forward in partnerships with the outside world to benefit our domestic businesses.


This spring, a major analysis of tourism was published. It concluded that tourism accounts for almost DKK 1.9 billion in turnover, approaching 7-8 % of our GDP. This underlines the importance of the industry. And there are political ambitions for more. In fact, tourism is set to be an even bigger economic pillar in Greenland’s economy, making us less sensitive to our locked-in block grants and fluctuations in fisheries

I am so happy to see more people participating in tourism. Still, I am also torn between being concerned about where skills, resources, and capital should come from, while I can also understand the parts of the government proposal that highlight the importance of developing the “Indigenous” companies in the future development of tourism. Should it be a large industry with open opportunities for everyone, locals and outsiders? Or should we build it ourselves with minimal outside interference?

The tourism industry has presented good arguments for both points of view, so I would like to see a clearer and stronger proposal than the current one and for us to take a thorough look at embracing both without closing ourselves off. A difficult balance? Yes, definitely, and we won’t succeed in any of it if we don’t work together, all parties. We must help keep the dialog open and listen to each other, including politicians, the industry, and GBA.

We have almost no unemployment, and the economic analysis of the tourism industry we operate from paints a clear picture of the need for strong collaboration across borders and access to capital for the Greenlandic industry to develop continually. I can say this because I know that we have a strong tourism industry with good companies.


In recent years, we have seen the constitution challenged several times in proposals for new legislation in areas that we would like to lead us toward independence. The minerals industry, fishing, and now tourism. It worries me when legislators in a modern democratic society push the boundaries of our fundamental rights and, in several cases, risk leaving Greenlandic companies to have their legal position tested in the courts because of said legislation. It’s a shame for our business community. We must note that this places even greater demands on us as civil society and that our involvement in consultation processes and as an interest organization has become even more important. Likewise, it has become even more important to keep the doors open for good communication so that we can be heard when something is going off track.


Future Greenland was a very nice experience for me, although I always struggle with having to wear the business hat and talk about sustainability in that context when I believe that nothing can be realized unless we get everyone involved. If we don’t have a society of “sustainable” families with children, and robust children and young people with a good foundation and safety net, society will lack its foundation. Future Greenland is the forum where business community members show how we can contribute to social tasks.

That said, I gained some great and new insights into the strength we possess as a society, and it became even clearer to me that the way forward is through dialog and cooperation. This is where the solutions lie. To work in the same direction and sort things out. Together.

I am proud that we ran our biggest Future Greenland ever with a record number of participants and a new record for the number of sponsorships. In addition, we had our youth conference as a prelude to Future Greenland itself. In just a few days, we gathered almost 1,000 people to participate in the discussions about business in Greenland and our role in development. The young people made a big impression on me, and I am proud that we will now hold another youth conference this year. Next time, it is in Sisimiut, and with the help of sponsors, it will once again be free for the young people to have this experience. The message from the young people in Katuaq at FG24 could not be more spot on. “You must listen to us.” Yes!


I cannot let it go unnoticed that I sense frustration in the business community. There was actually a member who, disheartened by both the Fisheries Act and the Tourism Act, suggested that Future Greenland should be called “No Future Greenland”. While I understand the point of view, we must keep faith in the future and, under our mantra of working in the present but keeping our eyes on the future, we strengthen ourselves and recognize that right now, there is even more need for us to stand together. There is a downturn in construction in many places. There has been a huge boom in construction, and now that those projects are being completed, a new level needs to be reached. That is a challenge. The investor environment is challenged, and industries such as fishing and tourism must find footing in new frameworks.

However, Greenland has interest from abroad, and we can turn that into something constructive. If we play our cards right and take advantage of the expectations that the outside world has of us, I still believe in a bright future for Greenlandic society and business. There are elections next year. The EU is showing an increased interest in our underground. New airports are opening. Tourism is developing positively. The defence settlement is still underway. And the Arctic is ”hot.”


Those who know me know that I am passionate about the whole society. Not least, because some people in our society don’t have the same prerequisites as the rest of us or for whom everyday life is difficult to manage

We need a strong business community and positive development opportunities to finance our welfare society

Many private companies contribute to lifting society every day. Therefore, I am very concerned about the increasing inequality and the distribution policy that is being pursued – probably in good faith, but with the consequence that inequality is growing. We have several companies and NGOs that occasionally take on public tasks. They do so because they cannot bear to look at what is not being taken care of without reacting. When the government and municipalities can’t or won’t, civil society takes over. This requires that our work with ESG and sustainability also considers the “S,” i.e., the social area and the human environment of companies. Of course, the economy must be sustainable, and I see more and more companies developing their social responsibility. I don’t want a society where the responsibility for society’s vulnerable people falls on civil society. Still, I have to recognize that, where we are right now, we have an increasingly important role. For example, this can be done directly and indirectly by influencing legislators and decision-makers to ensure the foundation for a sustainable society. And I think our goal is the same, but we often disagree on how to get there. I know that too many people in our country simply manage to survive – they don’t live full lives. We can’t afford that. Something drastic and long-term needs to happen now to see a change

At Greenland Business Association, we are currently working on our sustainability strategy and what role we should play as an interest organization. Our members expect us to create a role and help set a direction. We take that responsibility upon ourselves.


And then I’ll finish where I started. It’s peak season for many, and it’s busy. That’s a good thing. There are challenges, and the activity level will drop in several places, but right now, it’s busy, and that’s a positive sign. We are still evolving.

Happy summer to you all!

Cosmos & Co.