The Finnish Maritime Cluster part of discussions at Suomi Areena in Pori

19. July 2018

On Tuesday 17.7. the future of the Finnish maritime cluster was discussed in Pori, as part of the Suomi Areena program. Suomi Areena is a leading forum for societal discussion in Finland. The topic for the event was Finland at the peak of the wave – the maritime cluster as an accelerator of the economy. Participants were technology director Sauli Eloranta from Rolls-Royce Marine, director Roger Holm from Wärtsilä Marine Solutions, state secretary Paula Lehtomäki from the Prime minister’s chamber, managing director Tiina Tuurnala from the Finnish Shipowners’ Association and member of European parliament Henna Virkkunen.

The discussion highlighted the importance of the maritime cluster for the Finnish economy, as the industry employs nearly 50 000 people and has the combined turnover of 13 billion euros. 90% of foreign trade is transported through sea in Finland, as well as globally. For Finland seafaring and well-functioning sea transport is vital.

Even though seafaring generates less than 3% of global emissions, reducing emissions is one of the most central objectives of the industry at the moment. Responsibility is a leading theme in seafaring – particularly the Nordic countries, says Tiina Tuurnala of the FSA. According to Roger Holm from Wärtsilä, the technological development will further reduce emissions, by for example enabling more effective optimization of fuel usage.

Member of European parliament Henna Virkkunen emphasized that while Europe is a forerunner, it is however important that the regulation of the industry is made at a global level in IMO and EU, as the competitive conditions in seafaring are global.

Moreover, digitalization and automation were discussed. According to Sauli Eloranta from Rolls Royce the development in the area is very rapid and Finland has the chance to lead the way. State secretary Paula Lehtomäki, who is working on the maritime political program of Finland, underlined the meaning of working together within the industry and called after courage to seize new opportunities. There was consensus that the Finnish maritime cluster has great collaboration and trust between different operators and the potential to grow into the world’s leading maritime cluster.

Tiina Tuurnala

Tiina Tuurnala is the Chief Executive Officer of the Finnish Shipowners’ Association.

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