New Year reception at the Greenland Representation in Copenhagen

Dear Prime Minister, Ministers, Ambassadors, Members of Parliament and Friends of Greenland
Dear Friends of Greenland

”We’re open for business, not for sale.” To repeat an often quoted in social media from 2019;

The year 2019 will be remembered as the year when Greenland was put on the world map. It was the year when interest for Greenland increased dramatically. It was also the year where larger countries began to realize the potential that the Arctic has to offer.

Climate change brings about new shipping routes through the Arctic region, resources become more accessible and new species of fish, which we haven’t seen before, enters our waters, the agricultural season has been extended in accordance with the warmer climate.

We should make no mistake about it – Greenland is open to those who wish to invest and cooperate with Greenland.

The position of Naalakkersuisut – the Greenland Government, is that whatever happens in Greenland should be of benefit for Greenland and its inhabitants.
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However, before I proceed: I wish you all a happy New Year. A new decade has begun.

The 2020’s will also witness a permanently evolving Greenlandic society, with an increased cooperation with the World around us, and a continued movement toward a self-sustaining Greenland. We are already on the way.
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The greatest infrastructure project in the history of Greenland was launched during 2019.

The two international airports in Nuuk and Ilulissat and the regional airport in Southern Greenland, will create the conditions for further development. Private investors have already started to build hotels and stand ready with plans to build more hotels in the three towns, and further investments will follow. When the three airports are ready by October 1st 2023, they will ease access to the world around us.

Following the completion of the three airports, we are planning as the next step to build 7 smaller regional airports in Uummannaq, Qeqertarsuaq, Qasigiannguit, Kangaatsiaq, Narsaq, Nanortalik, Tasiilaq and Ittoqqortoormiit. Thus, Greenland will be linked together in a rational and adequate way.
We have improved the communications infrastructure, a fiber-optic cable has been extended to the North, and radio communications have been improved with transformer substations up to the region of Upernavik in the North. 92 % of the population now has access to the 4G signal – development has been fast speed.
In terms of maritime transports, the Royal Arctic Line is currently building modern cargo ships, which not only will be able to reach Denmark, but also ports in Iceland, The US and connect with the rest of the World.
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Major structural changes will take place in our society with the building of the new airports, and there is already progress on a number of key areas within Greenland – we have to prepare and we are already prepared in a number of ways.
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The economy is doing well, the growth rate is higher, fish prices are good, the maritime resources are properly managed and thus ensures Greenland a continued basis.

Unemployment rates are decreasing, the level of activity is increasing and a coordinated effort on social affairs is well under way.

When we look at the raw materials sector, we currently have two active mines; the ruby mine at Aappaluttoq and the anorthosite mine at Qaqortorsuaq.

More projects can open for production in coming years.

Tourism in Greenland is advancing and can also contribute to a strengthened economy for Greenland.
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Many things are going well in Greenland, much work still remains. As I always say, I want to pave the way for the youth, in order for them to have better opportunities than we had. It is therefore a great pleasure for me to see an ever-increasing number of youth finalizing an education, and we in turn should be ready to safeguard jobs.
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I have never denied that we still have much work to do in our country. An area which is very important to me is the situation of our children. We have many well-functioning families, but then again we have many children going through great challenges.
Therefore, I am happy that it is an area, in which we make extra effort to solve in cooperation with Denmark.

Generally speaking, our cooperation with Denmark has been steady.

The cooperation within the Realm is going well. We work together in mutual respect. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Faroese Government and the Danish Government as well as the Danish Parliament for a constructive and fruitful cooperation. (A special thanks go to the Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen for good cooperation and dialogue).
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Globalization calls for new opportunities.

Cooperation with the outside world is important to Greenland. We look forward to a good cooperation with the coming US Consulate in Greenland. We also welcome others who wish to work together with us.

The four Greenland Representations in Brussels, Washington, Reykjavík and here in Copenhagen are often the first thing people meet from abroad when they interact with Greenland. One of our political visions is to establish a Representation in the Far-East, since a major portion of our trade takes place in the East
I want to urge (present Ambassadors and their countries) to make good use of the Representations when you need contacts or knowledge about Greenland. It goes without saying, that you are always welcome to visit our beautiful country and look at the possibilities that Greenland has to offer.

I want to dedicate my final remarks to the youth, which I also did in my new year speech, since we are at the doorstep of new opportunities.

And also because it is the youth who are at the forefront of the protection and the future of our country.

This work will not be conducted by those coming from the outside.

I wish to convey the following to our youth – if the elders in our society are to experience secure living conditions, I urge you to display courage,

as descendants of the great kayak hunters,
never hold back,
never give up
be bold and display strength
You’re capable.
Educate yourselves, for your country needs you.
Our nation must continue its way forward,
and stand up to international competition.
Our nation, the largest island of the world – Greenland – is your country – yours, not the country of others – it’s your country.

Happy New Year!

With these remarks I welcome you all to this New Year reception. I hope you will enjoy yourselves.

Qujanaq – Thank you.