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Jón Ásbergsson, Managing Director of Promote Iceland

In this article, Mr. Jón Ásbergsson talks among other things about, the Icelandic economy, exports from Iceland and foreign trades. He points out that Iceland has one of the highest standards of living in the world and that Icelanders are more dependent on foreign trade then most other nations, making export trade vital for the Icelandic economy.

Vilhjálmur Lúðvíksson, Secretary of the Science and Technology Police council

In this article, Mr. Vilhjálmur Lúðvíksson talks about research and development (R&D) in Iceland. In this article, Vilhjálmur points among other things out that the country has increased its R&D investment by nearly 13% each year on the average and that the country is a living laboratory and an excellent test market for new technology.

The Iceland Stock Exchange (ICEX, now OMX Nordic Stock Exchange in Iceland) is one of the youngest stock exchanges in the world, established in 1985. Trade began in 1986 in T-bonds, which were the only listed securities for the first few years.  The stock exchange has developed very quickly in recent years. In June 2004, shares of 42 companies were listed on the ICEX and ICEX members were 20. The ICEX-15 rose 39,7% for the first two quarters of the year 2004 (99,7% over 12 months period) and indicators signals that it can rise even more. 

Although Icelandic agriculture is primarily aimed at inland consumption, there are export opportunities for many products, such as lamb, horse, wood and hides, salmon, Artic char and riding horses. Agricultural education, research, extension and other services focus on efficiency in production and quality control in the livestock industry and for agricultural inputs, and also on rigorous inspection and certification of meat and milk products. 

The Ministry of Industry and Commerce is now two ministries: The Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Commerce. The ministries has broad and extensive responsibilities concerning both domestic and global issues. Its objectives are to broaden the economic base of the country and improve the competitiveness of Icelandic industries by increasing diversification and the level of productivity, thus providing new employment opportunities and better living conditions.