Here we are again, at last—welcome to the 2017 edition, the 12th volume of the Faroe Business Report. This report has been underway for quite a while amid an astounding amount of major developments. For sure, telling the story of the Faroe Islands and its place in the world, not least when it comes to trade and industry, is a never-ending albeit highly motivating task.
Now the Faroe Islands is growing fast as a travel destination, even as the country’s booming export trade reached new records again in the past year. At the same time the islands’ services sector is becoming more competitive than ever in key international markets.
Seafood exports remains by far the dominant economic driver of the Faroes, reaching a total value of, incredibly, just over eight billion dkk (more than one billion in eur) in 2016, up almost one-fifth on the previous year. These are record-breaking figures, never seen before in Faroese history. Considering the country’s extremely small population, we are looking at a truly astonishing feat. The volumes of fish harvested, meanwhile, wild-caught and farmed, have remained stable at around 500,000 tonnes on an annual basis. Aquaculture and its products of Atlantic salmon represents largely half of all Faroese seafood exports today, with the other half mostly consisting of three main categories: pelagic species, whitefish, and shellfish and crustaceans.
With the imminent introduction of long-awaited reform in its legislative and regulative environment, the Faroese seafood industry is bracing for a period of uncertainty. Addressing this situation from a larger perspective, we offer in these pages an analysis that takes into account a number of related issues including the diminishing workforce employed within the industry and the Faroe Islands’ somewhat complicated relations with the European Union. All of this makes it the more fascinating to observe the recent success of the fish industry.
By the way, the total population of the Faroes, for the first time in history, just crossed the 50,000 mark.
As for the increasing connectivity of the island nation, there are now two commercial airlines that offer scheduled flights to and from Vagar Airport, making it easier and more convenient than ever to visit our amazing archipelago in the Northeast Atlantic.
I am confident that you will find this publication to be both informative and entertaining, and perhaps even inspiring in some aspects. Enjoy and have a great read!
Búi Tyril, Editor in Chief & Publisher