Approximately 10.6% of the Icelandic population are immigrants, most of whom come from Poland. Polish authorities have recently begun to ask residents living abroad to return to their home country, due to an increasing need for working hands.
RÚV asked Halldór Benjamín Þorbergsson, CEO of SA-Business Iceland, about the importance of foreign workers, such as Poles, to the Icelandic economy. According to Halldór, foreign workers are a necessary part of the economy. SA-Business recently estimated that by 2040 approximately 20% of the nation will consist of immigrants, which, according to him, is very positive.
In order to keep up the GDP growth, it is necessary for Iceland to have more people living there and working. According to Halldór, it is of vital importance to help immigrants learn Icelandic, in order to prevent them from becoming isolated.
“We need to make an effort to bring more people to the country to work. At the same time, we need to ensure that it’s desirable to work here and that people can feel like they’re doing something important. This is why it’s highly important for us to accommodate foreign workers and help them be a part of the Icelandic community.”