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Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Promote Iceland formally established

Promote Iceland (Islandsstofa) was formally established today, two months after the Icelandic Parliament adopted new legislation for the Agency. The aim is to strengthen Iceland's image and reputation, to strengthen the competitiveness of Icelandic businesses abroad and to encourage foreign tourists and investors to visit Iceland.

Promote Iceland will join together with the Trade Council of Iceland, Invest in Iceland Agency and the overseas marketing department of the Icelandic Tourist Board. Promote Iceland will be more that just the sum of these bodies, as the focus will be broadened to include the promotion of Iceland´s image, reputation and culture abroad.

Three memorandums of understanding were signed at the formal opening: with the Iceland Music Export (UTON), the Association of Computergame-Producers and the Marketing Committe of Origin Marking in Fisheries. Icelandic Foreign Minister, Össur Skarphéðinsson, said that these agreements mirrored new priorities in the wider economy and that one of the tasks of Promote Iceland is to encourage trade.

A broad section of stakeholders will participate in Promote Iceland and its policy making structure. Seven representatives are appointed to the board for three years at a time. The Minister for Foreign Affairs appoints four members nominated by the Confederation of Icelandic Employers, one member is nominated by the Minister of Industry and Tourism, another by the Minister of Education and Culture and one member is appointed without nomination.

The Chairman of the Board is Friðrik Pálsson, manager of Hótel Rangá. Other members include: Eggert B. Guðmundsson, Director HB Grand, Einar Karl Haraldsson Advisor, Innform, Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir, Chairwoman of the Federation of Icelandic Artists, Ólöf Ýrr Atladóttir Director of the Icelandic Tourist Board, Sigsteinn Grétarsson, Director of Marel Iceland, and Vilborg Einarsdóttir, Managing Director of Mentor

The Board will appoint sub-committees on tourism, food production, environment, culture and foreign investment. It will also appoint an Advisory Council on policy making and strategic management. The Board of Promote Iceland has already begun operating but the formal opening of Promote Iceland is 1 July 2010. The Board has already advertised the position for the managing director and has decided to prepare a policy strategy for the Agency this fall.

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