While its true that no amount of words can do justice to the beauty of the Faroe Islands, many articles have been written about its picturesque appeal. But there’s much more to the Faroe Islands than its appearance. For one, its industrial sector with its focus on specializations that characterize the islands, is evolving and diversifying rapidly. Since this sector is in its initial stages, it is a great time for international players to bring their events to the islands and to invest in this budding economy or provide knowledge transfers and thus leave a great legacy in the destination.
Being an island, most of the economy derives its sustenance from marine related activities. There are specialized services with respect to marine technology, fisheries, shipping, aquaculture, marine biology, navigation, oceanography, biotech etc. The work here is focused and constantly evolving.
The main industries of the Faroe Islands can be classified as follows:
Maritime Services: The maritime expertise of the Faroese is widely renowned, signified by a high degree of flexibility and professionalism, which extends to crew, officers, shipping companies and service providers alike. This flexibility is deeply rooted in Faroese culture and maritime history, with a strong seafaring tradition.
Fishing: The fishing industry, which is distinctly diversified and constantly developing, has been the main source of income for the Faroe Islands since 1920. It has played a major part in the economy and continues to do so today. Fishing and related fishing industries employ around 15% of the labor force and accounted for approximately 20 percent of the gross value added to the Faroese economy. The fishing industry (including farmed fish) also represents around 95% of the total export of goods and services. Faroe Islands are one of the world’s highest salmon producing countries. Thanks to the Faroese Veterinarian Act on Aquaculture prevention program, farmed salmon from the Faroe Islands is completely free of antibiotics. All Fish provided from the Faroese Islands is of highest quality and taste – due to the low temperature of the sea water and its clean and fresh conditions.
Transport and Trade: Being an island, import and export is an indispensable part for sustenance here. The transportation services are widely available and provide fast access to all major ports in the world. The Faroe Islands have entered into a number of Trade Free Agreements and agreements on fishing rights with neighboring countries, such as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. Another trade partner is the European Union.
Wool Industry and Knitting: Faroe Islanders are creative by nature, and many have chosen to express their creativity by making clothing and products inspired by the Faroe Islands and using resources found on the different islands. Gudrun & Gudrun is a famous company, which uses Faroese sheep wool to produce high-end fashion products that are sold worldwide. Knitting in the Faroe Islands has been a part of the Faroese clothing culture and a means of income for centuries. Even today, large numbers of (mainly) women still knit various types of clothing, such as sweaters, underwear and socks.
Sustainable Energy: There is great potential in the Faroe Islands for the use of renewable energy: hydropower, wind and tidal power. In order to utilize the islands’ domestic energy potential, the government’s policy is to transform the heating of buildings from oil to electricity, and to transform the production of electricity from oil to renewables. Long-term, the transport sector will also run on electricity, produced by renewable energy. The main energy supplier of the Faroe Islands, SEV, has officially announced that the goal is to have 100% green energy production by 2030, and this announcement has not gone unnoticed. At the Nordic Council Awards in Reykjavík in October 2015, SEV was awarded with the Nature and Environment Prize, for their ambitious targets and innovation, and for making substantial efforts in promoting renewable energy.
These industrial sectors have a great appeal worldwide, especially from the corporate and association meetings industry point of view. The Faroe islands provide a very special set up for holding events and meetings. Being a self dependent and fairly isolated settlement so far, they have their own unique take on every industry, which the rest of the world can learn from. Especially in the fisheries and wool industry department, one can rely on the expertise of the Faroese people.
On the other hand, the Islands and their people are a young and budding economy, so they can benefit a lot from well established industrial practices around the world. There is mutual benefit and learning for both the parties involved. The Faroe Islands are the best place to create and leave a sustainable legacy. A legacy concept could mean to leave physical or technical infrastructure used for your event in the destination. It could focus on pulling in the locals to embrace, for example, the particular topic of a fisheries congress or raise their interest for opportunities available in the energy industry a major sustainable energy conference. It can also increase the awareness of a particular subject or topic in a city or region to integrate their local experts in that segment.
The fact that this place would probably be the most beautiful place that the visitors of any event would have seen so far, would just be an icing on the cake.
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