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Report: Marine industry is a developing growth sector - need to prepare for changing circumstances

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 14.9.2021 11.11 | Published in English on 15.9.2021 at 13.53
Press release

The future prospects of Finland’s marine industry look very good. For them to come true, the sector must keep advancing in a comprehensive way in order to be competitive and successful on the world market. This is the conclusion of a report commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment that was published on 14 September 2021.

 Marine industry is a growth sector that offers interesting opportunities to innovative and internationally competitive companies. In Finland there are internationally strong and innovative marine industry companies, and new ones are emerging. The authors of the report stress that marine industry is not a sunset industry, but it has a strong future.
“Global competition requires even closer cooperation among operators in the sector, and competence building and renewal on a long-term basis through public-private partnerships. Carbon-reducing technologies, digital solutions and efficient value chains are the key to success in the marine industry as well,” Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä says.
“The proposal concerning a strategic development programme for the marine industry must be considered very seriously. In this programme we could bring together the measures and company services we have at present, make sure that they are fit for their purpose and, where necessary, launch supplementary actions to respond to the needs related to the sector’s renewal,” Lintilä says.
Marine industry is composed of clusters of companies that produce solutions to different types of vessels. These clusters are partly overlapping and the companies are strongly interconnected. According to the study, the networks and cooperation should be further strengthened. In particular, more efficient value chains must be created so that innovation activities are extended to all parts of the chain, thus improving the global competitiveness of the chain as a whole.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on international cruise business are also reflected in marine industry companies whose main business is to build cruise ships. Based on the study, the elements that led to the unfavourable trend in the competition situation were there even before the pandemic. The changes in the competition situation may lead to mergers of subcontractors that mainly serve the domestic companies. This process may result in the creation of an even stronger group of internationally competitive companies.
The states and governments have traditionally had a strong role in the marine industry and its development and, according to the study, this role is not getting any weaker in the future. 
The study was conducted by the business consultancy company Reddal, commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. 
Antti Siika-aho, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 50 575 4118
Anita Silanterä, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7256
Kai Husso, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 063 683
Per Stenius, author of the report, Reddal, tel. +358 40 533 0793

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