Should Iceland engage in policy dialogue with developing countries?


  • Hilmar Þór Hilmarsson



This article provides a brief overview of the current status of Icelandic development cooperation, bilaterally and multilaterally, and argues that it is time for Iceland to become more engaged in policy dialogue with developing countries on issues related to public sector reform and economic policy. Iceland should also in the authors view take more advantages of the extensive knowledge that Icelandic experts possess, and the experience they have gained, both in Iceland and internationally. Iceland should be more active in offering exerts in the public service, in the academia, as well as in the private sector to provide policy advise and technical assistance to developing countries that are implementing complex economic and public sector reforms. A number of those exerts have also gained considerable international experience in implementing policy reform programs. The article then discusses two cases: (i) the case of Latvia where Iceland rushed to recognize its independence, but did little to assist the country in the post independence period, and (ii), the case of Vietnam where a country like Iceland could provide valuable assistance to a country that is achieving remarkable progress in poverty reduction, implementing important public sector reforms and creating a better business environment for foreign investors. This article is based on the authors experience as chairman of the Board of the Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) and as Special Advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Iceland from 1995 to 1999, and as World Bank specialist at the Bank’s Head Quarters in Washington DC from 1990 to 1995, in Latvia from 1999 to 2003 and in Vietnam from 2003 to 2006.

Author Biography

Hilmar Þór Hilmarsson

School of Business and Science, University of Akureyri.




How to Cite

Hilmarsson, H. Þór. (2007). Should Iceland engage in policy dialogue with developing countries?. Icelandic Review of Politics & Administration, 3(2).



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