The Maine North Atlantic Development Office has joined the Arctic Economic Council, an independent agency aimed at business-to-business activities.

The development office was formed in 2013 under the auspices of the Maine International Trade Center to increase trade and investment between Maine and the North Atlantic region. It is the first organization in the Lower 48 states to join the Arctic Economic Council, according to a news release from the trade center. The Maine group joined the organization as a nonvoting member.

“We look forward to connecting with business partners throughout the Arctic to help foster (business-to-business) activities where Maine’s business and industry strengths can be mobilized for the benefit of all engaged with the AEC,” said Christopher Howard, development office board chairman in a written statement.

The Arctic Economic Council, based in Tromso, Norway, supports business development by sharing best practices, technological solutions and standards, according to its website. It was established in 2014 to provide a business perspective to the intergovernmental Arctic Council. Corporations, indigenous people’s organizations and Arctic Council member states are members of the economic council. Maine was accepted into the council with two other new members: Bioway AS, an indigenous Norwegian aquaculture firm and shipping company Cosco Shipping Lines Finland Oy.

Last year, the Maine North Atlantic Development Office hosted Arctic Council representatives in Portland, the first time the group had gathered in the U.S. outside of Alaska.

Peter McGuire can be reached at 791-6325 or at:

Twitter: @PeteL_McGuire

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