Scan Magazine, Issue 135, April-May 2020

Page 52

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Taking care of Greenland’s business Greenland Business Association (Grønlands Erhverv/Sulisitsisut) has been taking care of business since 1966. Connecting companies, professionals and politicians inside and outside Greenland, it represents companies responsible for approximately 80 per cent of the country’s total business turnover. “Greenland is undergoing a lot of exciting change and opening up to global business,” says Brian Buus Pedersen, general manager of Greenland Business Association. “There’s a lot of potential up here, and we look forward to what the future brings.”

“One of the main reasons that we’re facing a shortage of qualified workforce is the level of Greenland’s ‘folkeskole’: currently, almost 70 per cent of pupils leave school with at least one mark preventing them from entering higher education. Clearly, that needs changing.”

By Louise Older Steffensen  |  Photos: Jørgen Chemintz

As part of their efforts to rally the future workforce of Greenland, the association connects schoolchildren and businesses, giving students the chance to see for themselves what opportunities are out there for them. “We love these kinds of initiatives. With a population of 56,000 people, it’s vital that we rally together. It is thoroughly encouraging to see that the

“Things are changing – societally, economically and geographically. The mining industry is in exponential growth. Tourism is – outside of the dip as a result of the coronavirus – rapidly on the rise, and Greenland’s infrastructure is already being improved to support this growth with initiatives like two new international airports in Nuuk and Ilulissat expected to open in 2023,” Buus Pedersen says. The population pattern looks set to be heavily impacted by urbanisation. “Young people are moving to the cities, mainly Nuuk, to study, but overall, they aren’t returning to their places of origin anymore. They settle to live and work in the cities, which necessitates some big-scale thinking from the politicians’ side in areas such as education, health and social welfare. And then there’s the climate, of course, which brings with it its own set of changes for business on Greenland. 52  |  Issue 135  |  April/May 2020

These developments cause disruption, but that disruption also brings with it incredible opportunities for development, growth and new thinking.”

Making connections “Greenland’s businesses will be vital in providing the jobs and the economic growth we’ll need to accommodate these developments, and at Greenland Business Association, we are doing everything we can to provide long-term solutions and support for corporations and businesses, which will help Greenlandic society long-term too,” Buus Pedersen continues. At the moment, 62 per cent of the association’s members are facing a shortage of workers, a long-term problem that has led Greenland Business  Association to build a close partnership with the nation’s teachers’ association. “We’re working to change the state school system,” Buus Pedersen explains.

Brian Buus Pedersen. Photo: Lars Salomonsen