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Export brands or IEE?

Should Iceland focus on export brands rather than energy intensive industry? The way I see it, energy intensive industry (IEE) is a short-term fix. At the beginning, IEEs create a lot of jobs and massive cash flows while the plants and peripherals are being built, but then they become stagnant, non-growth entities. Export brands, however, have no such limitation and seem to be a more effective solution in the long-term.

The only way I see an IEE growth opportunity is a mega factory producing goods for export to Asia, America and Europe. That kind of factory could easily service a range of high-volume producers like Sony, Ford, Audi, Samsung and others and should be an attractive option since electricity and labor cost is relatively low in Iceland versus other countries. Transportation of finished goods is also optimized due to the country’s strategic location. Finally, time to market is far less from here than from Japan or China to America or Canada. In light of this, why is this country becoming infested with aluminum smelters?


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