Maritime industry plays an important role in the economy and employment in Finland
Maritime industry companies represent the entire shipbuilding sector, including shipyards that manufacture new vessels and repair old ones, equipment and system suppliers, and companies specialising in planning and port and water construction. In 2020, nearly 1,100 companies with a combined turnover of EUR 7.65 billion operated in the maritime industry and employed a total of 25,400 people in Finland. The maritime industry operates in an international market, where up to 90 per cent of the products are exported.
Sustainable maritime industry development programme
In early 2021, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment commissioned a report on the current state and future prospects of the Finnish maritime industry. According to the report, the maritime industry will continue to be an important sector for Finland, and its future seems promising. The key factor for the development and growth of the sector is the companies’ ability to invest in expertise and specialise in more complex technologies and diverse vessels.
According to the report, central government measures will be important for maritime industry companies in the future too. State support is needed to help develop company products and innovation projects and to increase cooperation across the sector. Global competitiveness requires a sufficient number of commercially profitable companies and top expertise supporting their innovation activity in all parts of the value chain.
The profitable development of the marine ecosystem requires measures to support internationalisation, growth and cooperation. To ensure that the measures are suitable for improving competitiveness, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is implementing a sustainable maritime industry development programme (2022–2023).
The development programme sets out a vision for the future of the maritime industry:
- Internationally competitive, profitable and broad-based Finnish maritime industry is among the first to offer well-functioning and sustainable solutions to the digital green transition globally, and to provide employment and create wellbeing in Finland.
The five sets of measures in the development programme are:
- Cooperation that increases competitiveness and coordinated communication that strengthens synergies
- Ensuring the suitability of public funding and increasing leverage
- Skills and availability of diverse labour for the needs of the maritime industry
- Public sector as a facilitator of a favourable operating, regulatory, experimental and piloting environment and as a reference provider
- International operating environment
For the implementation and monitoring of the sustainable maritime industry development programme, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has appointed an intersectoral steering group tasked with steering and, if necessary, redirecting the programme implementation based on its objectives, selecting a common development target for the programme, and strengthening the overall coordination and communication of the programme.
According to the maritime industry situation report prepared by the Finnish Industry Investment (Tesi) in spring 2023, based on data and business interviews, the situation in the sector is cautiously positive and companies are confident about the future.
Information package on funding and support opportunities for the maritime industry
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has published an information package on domestic and international funding and support opportunities available for maritime industry and the development of its sustainable competitiveness.
The package compiles information on different funding and support opportunities and their suitability for operators in the sector. In addition, the package describes the services and guidance available for internationalisation funding and availability of labour, as well as national and international programmes and strategy guidelines that are of key importance to maritime industry operators.
Janne Peltola - janne.peltola(at)gov.fi