SWZ|Maritime’s editor-in-chief Antoon Oosting was invited to come to Finland to take a closer look at its maritime manufacturing industry. This country has managed to firmly hold on to its shipbuilding industry. Read all about this and what the Finnish maritime companies are up to in our December Finland special.

Among fellow journalists of the so-called quality newspapers, a press trip at the invitation of a foreign country or company is known as a “junket” in which you throw away your journalistic independence by being fêted with lots of good food and even more drinks. In short, something you should really stay away from. But if you turn down all those invitations, you also miss out on the chance to find out what is happening abroad, and in this case Finland, and what we in the Netherlands can learn from it.

And knowing that small Finland is the cradle of a few very large companies, such as ABB, Meyer Turku and Wärtsilä, the engine manufacturer that succeeded where Stork-Werkspoor failed, it was not a difficult decision for this writer to accept the invitation from Business Finland. And I can assure the readers of SWZ|Maritime with hand on heart that we did not get the chance to get drunk, as the programme that the Finns presented to us, seven international maritime journalists, was so jampacked and intense that it filled ten to twelve hours each day.

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Opportuntities for cooperation

They won’t immediately sell any more icebreakers to Dutch clients because of it either, but of course the interest of the Finns is to be able to show through the journalist’s coverage what they are good at and to see if there are opportunities for cooperation. In my opinion, there are plenty and they are very worthwhile, just look at how the Finns want to increase their investments in R&D from 2.5 to four per cent of their GDP.

But I should not mark my own homework, that is ultimately up to you as reader, but with the cooperation of colleagues Björn von Ubisch, Hotze Boonstra and Gerrit de Boer, we have sincerely tried to put together an interesting December special on the Finnish maritime manufacturing industry focusing on the Finnish advances in the development of sustainable technology for shipbuilding that are of interest to every shipbuilder and maritime technician.

Politicians in the Netherlands like to boast that the Netherlands must play the role of a guiding country in many areas, not least when it comes to the fight against climate change. In doing so, losing sight of the fact that there may well be countries that are just that little bit smarter than we are. As far as I am concerned, the Finland special in this December edition should therefore be seen primarily as an invitation for more cooperation between European maritime industries in order to keep them afloat and to jointly face the competition from Asian shipbuilding giants, such as China, South Korea and soon India.

This is editor-in-chief Antoon Oosting’s editorial accompanying the December 2023 issue.

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SWZ Archive

Our digital archive is once again available to subscribers and they can read the digitial version of our December issue there. Subscribers can register here to gain access. Not yet a subscriber? Visit our subscription page.

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The articles in SWZ|Maritime’s December issue

In addition to the regular sections such as Dutch news, Markets, Global news, book reviews, news from the KNVTS and Mars Report, the articles in the December issue are:

  • Cooperation in European naval shipbuilding
  • Finland, a small ‘island’ nation big in building ships
  • The Finnish maritime industry
  • Finland battles the ice with high tech
  • Meyer Turku is heading for climate and carbon neutral
  • Icon of the Seas
  • Azipods are key for a greener maritime industry
  • Shaping the decarbonisation of marine energy
  • Building the greenest ferry possible
  • Cooperation between the Finnish and Dutch industry
  • The Global Maritime Security Association
  • News from International Shipbuilding Progress

Picture: The Icon of the Seas is the world’s largest and most advanced cruise ship. It was built at Meyer Turku and can rightly be called an icon of Finnish shipbuilding (photo Royal Caribbean International).

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