25. ágúst 2023
Increased services for Icelandic businesses abroad
Minister for Foreign Affairs, Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, Chairman of the Board of Business Iceland, Hildur Árnadóttir, and Pétur Þ. Óskarsson, CEO of Business Iceland, at the signing of the agreement.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Business Iceland have made an agreement for Business Iceland to take over an increasing level of services for Icelandic businesses in foreign markets by recruiting trade counsellors in select cities. Under the agreement, responsibility for the professional coordination and supervision of these trade counsellors will be in the hands of Business Iceland. The purpose of this collaboration is to promote support for the Icelandic export sectors by recruiting specialised trade counsellors who can offer specific assistance and services to Icelandic export businesses and export sectors, in keeping with Iceland’s export policy.
These trade counsellor services in key markets will come in addition to the Foreign Service’s general protection of interests and the support it offers across all markets, including assistance in facilitating trade in new markets, support for trade delegations and international relations, as well as gathering and disseminating information.
The decision as to where the trade counsellors will be located under this agreement will be taken jointly by the Ministry and Business Iceland, in line with an assessment of opportunities in foreign markets. As for the first two trade counsellors to be recruited in this manner, one will be located at the Icelandic embassy in Warsaw, and the other will be Iceland’s trade counsellor to the United States, located in New York. They are expected to begin their operations on 1 January 2024.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir: “Services for Icelandic businesses in foreign markets have for many years been an important part of the Foreign Service’s activities. The structural changes we are now making with the involvement of Business Iceland entail opportunities to increase specialisation in keeping with the needs of the business sector at any given time. The aim is to continue to develop this collaboration in order to further increase access for Icelandic companies to even more markets.”
Pétur Þ. Óskarsson, CEO of Business Iceland: “In recent years, we have systematically increased our collaboration with Iceland’s diplomatic missions abroad. This agreement is one step towards the further development of that collaboration. When determining which markets to target, we look, inter alia, to the opportunities that exist in the areas in question, but we also consider where our trade counsellors can bring in specialised knowledge. This can, for example, include knowledge of a specific business sector in the country in question, or local knowledge that is useful in conducting trade in new markets.”