The objective of this Act is to strengthen Iceland’s image and reputation, enhance the competitive position of Icelandic undertakings on foreign markets and to attract foreign investment and tourists to the country.
a) Business Iceland is established. Its role is:
to be a platform for collaboration between companies, stakeholders and authorities, on policy-making and on measures to strengthen Iceland’s image and reputation;
b) to provide comprehensive service and consultancy for the purpose of facilitating the export of goods and services;
c) to attract foreign tourists to this country with coordinated promotional and marketing operations;
d) to attract foreign investments to Iceland, to inform foreign investors about the advantages of Iceland and to act as an advisor to the authorities on matters relating to investment;
e) To support the promotion of Icelandic culture abroad.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of Business Iceland consists of seven board members each appointed for a term of three years. The Minister for Foreign Affairs appoints all seven members, four of which are nominated by the Confederation of Icelandic Employers, one nominated by the Minister of Industry, one nominated by the Minister of Education and Culture and one is appointed without nomination. The Minister for Foreign Affairs appoints a Chairman of the Board in consultation with the nominating entities. Alternate board members are appointed in the same manner. Other tasks are divided between the board members themselves. In consultation with a Board of Advisors, the Board of Directors decides on Business Iceland overall direction, approves the annual budget plan and monitors its execution. The board shall appoint the Managing Director of Business Iceland and decide his conditions of employment.
The Board of Directors shall in consultation with the relative ministry, ensure that industry specific advisory boards (industry boards) be formed to identify the needs in foreign marketing and promotion in the fields of tourism, the food industry, environmental matters and in foreign investments in Iceland. If deemed appropriate the Board can in the same manner appoint industry boards for other domains. The Board of Directors also appoints a Board of Advisors that shall advise the Board on policy and overall project scope. Spokesmen for the most significant interests in the scope of Business Iceland's operations shall have seats on this advisory board which shall meet no less than twice a year. The Minister for Foreign Affairs sets detailed rules on the Board of Advisors, including specification of the number of members, according to proposals from the Board of Directors of Business Iceland.
The Board of Directors calls to the Business Iceland Annual General Meeting which shall be held before May 1st. each year. The right to attend the AGM are all nominating parties to the Board of Directors of Business Iceland, representatives on the Board of Advisors and those parties that have representatives in Business Iceland industry boards. The Board of Directors is authorised to invite additional parties to attend the AGM. At the AGM the Board reports on Business Iceland’s strategy and on its work and that of the industry boards and publishes its operational plan and accounts.
The Directing Manager of Business Iceland is in charge of daily operations and appoints its staff. Business Iceland has autonomous finances and accounting and is exempt from income tax. The Board of Directors decides the fees for services rendered by Business Iceland. Care shall be taken to ensure that sold services cover most of the costs of the tasks executed at the request of those parties that request services from Business Iceland. The Icelandic National Audit Office shall make an annual audit of the institution’s accounts.
1. Business Iceland’s income is as follows:
A Market fee of 0.05%, which is imposed on the taxable amount for the payroll charge as specified in Chapter III of Act no. 113/1990, on payroll charge. Levying and collection of the market charge shall be according to the above Act. The market charge may be deducted from revenue of the operational year when the taxable amount was decided.
2. Funds from the government’s budget.
3. Fees for services provided.
4. Service agreements with institutions and associations.
5. Special contributions and other income. Business Iceland shall initiate cooperation with those parties that are active in marketing Iceland to foreign investors and shall appropriate 14% of the market charge to projects of this nature.
Authorisation to enact a regulation
The Minister is authorised, having received the opinion of the Board of Directors of Business Iceland, to stipulate in a regulation the operations of Business Iceland in more detail.
Entry into force
This Act is hereby in force. On the coming into force of this Act, the provisions of the Act on assistance with export no. 160/2002 with subsequent amendments shall be annulled.
Amendments to other acts
1. The words “The Trade Council of Iceland” in Paragraph 1of Article 5 of the Tourism Administration Act no. 73/2005 with subsequent amendments shall be replaced with: Business Iceland.
2. The words “The Trade Council” in Paragraph 1 of Article 12 of the Filmmaking Act no.137/2001 with subsequent amendments shall be replaced with: Business Iceland.
On the coming into force of this Act, Business Iceland will adopt all obligations and rights of The Trade Council of Iceland and take over its assets and liabilities.
Should no decision to the contrary be made, the market charge will be discontinued according to item 1 of Article 5 through and including 1 January 2013, even though such a charge will be levied in 2013 on the taxable base from the operational year 2012.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs shall call to the inaugural meeting of Business Iceland within eight weeks of the coming into force of this Act.
Passed at the Althing 29 April 2010.