Greenland 1997

Greenland is a country located in North America. According to AbbreviationFinder, GL is the two-letter ISO code of Greenland, and GRL is the three-letter country abbreviation for Greenland.

Yearbook 1997

Greenland. Relations with Denmark were somewhat strained in 1997. A Danish report stated early in the year that the US nuclear stockpile at Thule Air Force Base (Thule base) was significantly larger than was allowed from the US. In addition, the report claimed that Danish politicians and militias both known and sanctioned the nuclear weapons, though not to a large extent. Later in the year, when the Greenlandic “head of government” (actually chairman of the National Board) was positive about storing American nuclear weapons, the Danish protests were strong.

The Greenlanders went to elections in April and the two dominant issues were the high unemployment and the equally large housing shortage. The Social Democratic Siumut under Lars Emil Johansen’s leadership won 80 of the 165 parliamentary seats. In the autumn, however, Johansen left his post and a new party leader and “head of government” became Jonathan Motzfeldt.


Greenland’s gross domestic product (GDP) per inhabitant amounts to two-thirds of the Danish. But the cost of living is higher than in Denmark, so the material standard of living is approximately half that of the Danish.

The economy is dominated by the public sector. Denmark makes an annual contribution of almost DKK 4 billion to the Greenland economy, which corresponds to just over half of public spending or SEK 65,000 (over US $ 10,000) per inhabitant.

Greenland’s most important source of income is shrimp fishing. Shrimp make up about half of exports. Other export products are crabs, fish and fish products, skins and furs and stamps. The declining catches have led to an increasing number of Greenlanders moving to cities, creating new social and economic problems.

At the end of 2017, the fishing nations around the Arctic agreed to halt all commercial fishing in the Arctic waters for the time being. In line with global warming, fish stocks have decreased in size and fishing hours have begun to take new paths. During the stop, the nations will conduct joint research to find out more about the ecosystems in the area in order to eventually be able to resume fishing. The agreement includes Canada, the EU, China, Denmark (Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Iceland, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Russia and the USA.

Trade, transport and service are important sectors of the economy. There are also large, yet unexploited assets of, for example, fresh water, oil, iron and a variety of other metals and minerals. There is great potential for hydropower that Greenland has begun to exploit. For example, a collaboration has been initiated with the US aluminum giant Alcoa to build an aluminum smelter at Maniitsoq.

In 2004 a new gold mine was opened in southern Greenland, but it was closed four years later. In 2008, the Black Angel zinc mine was reopened, which has been closed since 1990. Greenland has become increasingly interesting for international mining companies, although interest has cooled somewhat in recent years due to falling prices of oil and iron ore, for example.

In 2013, the Greenland Parliament lifted the ban on uranium mining and other radioactive substances. However, there is a shared opinion between Denmark and Greenland whether the Greenland authorities can decide on uranium mining on their own. Kvanefjeld at Narsaq contains, in addition to the world’s fifth largest uranium supply, also the so-called rare earth metals, which are indispensable in the electronics industry and could produce large economic profits.

The government is trying to broaden the economy by making efforts to increase the quality of schools and education and encourage private investors. Important industries are construction, crafts, shipbuilding, sheep and reindeer husbandry and hunting. Tourism is growing rapidly, but it will hardly develop into mass tourism. Between 1993 and 2002, the number of tourists on land increased from 5,000 to 32,000. After some stagnation, it has again risen to 45,000 (2015). In recent years, many passengers (22,000 in 2015) have been added to small and especially large cruise ships, which pay $ 100 per passenger to the National Treasury. What attracts visitors are cruises along the spectacular coast, mountain hiking, fishing, hunting, skiing and dog sledding.