and Development Agency - ECONOMY
Economic life in Reykjanes
The Reykjanes Marketing and Development Agency is a one-stop organisation offering consultancy and project-management services to start-up and innovative companies interested in locating on the Reykjanes peninsula. The agency also maintains close contacts with local businesses in the region, and supports them by providing information, assistance and a range of consultative services.
Opportunities and advantages
The Reykjanes region offers a wealth of opportunities for new industries, and the Reykjanes Marketing and Development Agency is interested in meeting companies seeking to re-locate or establish ties with others already operating in the region. In terms of infrastructure, one of the region's main strengths lies in the presence of Keflavík International Airport. Located in the heart of the Reykjanes peninsula, it is situated mid-way between Europe and continental North America, and is therefore the closest European airport to the Far East. The deep-water harbour at Helguvík, originally constructed as an oil terminal for the nearby NATO base, is the region's largest port facility, and adjoins a 120-hectare expandable industrial site. Without doubt, Helguvík represents one of the best options in Iceland as a location for medium-sized and larger industrial plants. To power such facilities, Iceland is the only country in Europe which still has large and as yet untapped reserves of low-cost hydroelectric and geothermal energy, including steam. Coupled to suitable development sites and a skilled local workforce, this plentiful supply of low-cost energy makes Reykjanes an ideal location for power-intensive industries. At the same time, the environmentally friendly nature of geothermal power represents an excellent opportunity for companies wishing to enhance their image. The Reykjanes peninsula is Iceland's first choice for future industrial development, and recent negotiations indicate that power-intensive multinational companies view the region as an optimal location for future expansion.
The Reykjanes workforce has already shown its high level of technical skills on numerous occasions, among them the development of the complex geothermal heating system, electrical power production, and a wide range of complex assignments for the NATO base, international airport, and the fishing fleet. The standard of living in Reykjanes is relatively high, with well-developed public health care and an educational system ranging from play schools to university level. A wide range of sports and recreational facilities is available, ranging from basketball, football and swimming, to sea angling, hiking and whale spotting. Reykjanes is also home to a number of restaurants and hotels, and the vibrant culture and nightlife of Iceland´s capital is within easy reach.
The traditional dependence of Reykjanes on fishing and fish products has meant that all its communities have developed harbours. Each community is supplied with electricity and fresh water by local utilities, with high standard drainage and sanitation facilities in place, most of them very modern. Geothermal water is used for space heating in all houses, while telecommunications are of the highest quality, as is most of the region´s modern infrastructure.
An extensive road system connects all five communities in the region, and all major roads are paved. Reykjanes is well connected to Reykjavík, with its domestic airport and governmental institutions. Road connections in Reykjanes are very reliable during winter, as snowfall periods are only occasional and quantities of snow on these low-lying roads are limited.
The Reykjanes Development Agency maintains active ties with a number of similar organisations on both sides of the North Atlantic.
Led by the Agency, a team comprised of several of the region's leading retailers is currently engaged on a joint development project supported by the Nordisk Industrifund (http://www.nordicinnovation.net) with a number of individuals and organisations in Denmark and Norway.
The Agency is also involved in a joint project with the Charente Maritime region of France (http://www.charente-maritime.org).
Reykjanesbær Council recently concluded a formal declaration of friendship with the U.S. Naval Air Station, Keflavík, ( designed to strengthen ties between the base and the local community.
Declaration of Friendship
By this declaration of friendship, the U.S. Naval Air Station, Keflavík, Iceland and Reykjanesbær, Iceland, agree to seal the bonds of friendship and mutual understanding between the communities. Hereby, the communities agree to engage in an exchange of culture, education, sports, commerce and other areas of mutual interest that serve to benefit and enhance the scope and depth of the relationship. By the virtue of this declaration of friendship, the U.S. Naval Air Station, Keflavík and Reykjanesbær shall be known from this day forward as neighbors of goodwill and friendship.
August 10th 2001
Signed by the Commanding Officer, U.S. Naval Air Station, Keflavík, Capt. Mark Anthony and the Mayor of Reykjanesbær, Ellert Eiríksson.
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