Northern Sea Route and its impact on global trade

Organized by: The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) 4. September 2017

International trade continues to define the prosperity of national economies and even the development of cultures. Conversely, economic growth enhances the global trade, motivates the tariff reduction and other trade liberalization policies.

Saturday, October 14, 16:00 - 17:30
Location: Ríma A, Ground Level

About 80% of global trade relies on the maritime transport. Once the Northern Sea Route (NSR) becomes a viable transportation corridor to connect Europe and Asia, it may significantly re-shape the existing trade flows, which will also eventually have an impact on the political layout worldwide. To become operational on a large scale, the NSR requires massive investments, which may come from emerging Asian economies. This session will present and discusses a research project aimed at investigating the effects of an enhanced NSR onto the global trade under market, geo-political and climate uncertainty. The project intends to analyze plausible pathways, identify winners and losers, and suggest scenarios maximizing the benefits for as many interested parties as possible.


  • Yuriy Kostin, Deputy Head of Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transportation, Russian Federation: Russian perspective
  • Sampo Viheriälehto, Master Mariner, Chartering Manager, Arctia Ltd.: Practitioner¹s perspective


"Northern Sea Route - A Game Changer for Global Trade?"

  • Elena Rovenskaya, Director, Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, IIASA
  • Michael Obersteiner, Director, Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program, IIASA


  • Lawson W. Brigham, Distinguished Faculty, University of Alaska Fairbanks: The NSR: Gateway to Global Markets
  • Dmitry Yumashev, Senior Research Associate, Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business of the Lancaster University, and University of Cambridge: Long-term projections for the NSR trade: economic gains vs losses due to the route’s net climatic feedback
  • Natsuhiko Otsuka, Professor, Arctic Research Center, Hokkaido University: Possibility and issues of liner shipping via the Northern Sea Route
  • “The Arctic University of Norway: China-Arctic Maritime and Energy Systems in the Making: Functional Regionalisation in the High North”
    • Liisa Kauppila, PhD Candidate, University of Turku
    • Rasmus Gjedssø Bertelsen, Professor, University of Tromsø