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Economic Opportunity in Iceland by George E. Grace

Economic Opportunity in Iceland

There were a few rough years after Iceland’s economy crashed in 2008, but things are starting to heat up again.

Invest in Iceland is the economic development branch of the Icelandic government. It frequently invites potential investors to visit the country and explore opportunities for growth and development, as well as Iceland’s breathtaking scenic beauty.

One of the most compelling reasons for a business to relocate to Iceland is the availability of highly cost-effective, renewable power:

  • Hydro
  • Wind
  • Geothermal

Molten rock and lava approximately one mile below the surface provide a virtually unlimited supply of geothermal heat and energy to the capital, Reykjavik, and surrounding areas. The five major geothermal power plants in Iceland produce 26% of the country’s energy. Almost every home in Iceland is heated by geothermal energy.

In addition to the ample supply of clean energy, Iceland offers other persuasive reasons to invest there:

  • Moderate temperatures: The winters are not too cold (averaging 32 degrees Fahrenheit), and the summers are not too hot (averaging 55 degrees Fahrenheit). This eliminates the need for air conditioning for server farms and other tech-heavy applications.
  • Educated workforce: Iceland is one of the most literate societies in the Western world. In fact, literature is practically a national pastime. Everyone reads and everyone is well-read.
  • No language barriers: The official language is Icelandic, but English is ubiquitous; an American company could set up operations in Iceland without significant language issues.
  • Easy access: Just 5 ½ hours via airplane from New York and 7 hours from Seattle, taking the short route over the arctic circle.
  • Scenic beauty: The country is phenomenally beautiful, with hundreds of amazing waterfalls and glaciers, deep water seaports and dramatic landscapes.

How is Iceland’s Internet Connection?

An investor planning to day trade from Iceland may encounter problems. The data latency is slow (measured in milliseconds) compared to the mainland. As a result, if one requires precise immediacy, Iceland is not the place.

Despite its geographic isolation, Iceland is a vibrant member of the North Atlantic community, in addition to being one of its oldest democracies. It is certainly worth visiting, whether as a tourist or as a scout for a potential new facility, especially if you are a high energy user.

How might your business benefit by relocating to or building in Iceland?

 George E. Grace
 Mohr Partners, Inc.
232 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016