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Partnership networks of the Finnish maritime cluster – Research focus on Chinese markets (SeaChi) Kim Jansson

The Chinese economy is continuing to grow rapidly. The large size of China and its enormous population guarantee that the market volumes are always large in any business sector. Large multinational enterprises have grabbed this opportunity. The development must also be followed by Finnish SME companies operating as suppliers to the big players. The growth of the Chinese market also provides business expansion opportunities for SMEs. China has declared that its objective is to be the leading shipbuilding nation by 2015. As a result, more and more ships and marine equipment manufacturing will transfer to China. The development also provides an opportunity for Finnish companies in the maritime sector. Many components are already delivered from Finland to China, but in the future there could be a need and pressure to manufacture the products closer to the market. Thus, Finnish suppliers need to watch the development of the Chinese market and create strategies to take advantage of it. SME companies have more limited resources than multinational enterprises. Cooperation with partners can lower the barrier to their establishment in China.

Objectives The objective of the SeaChi project is to promote the competitive-ness of the Finnish marine industries on international markets, with special focus on partnership networks on the Chinese markets. Partial objectives are to:

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aintain up-to-date information about m the development of the Chinese Maritime industry acquire information about the activities of the Finnish Marine Industries in relation to China support a successful entry to the Chinese markets by developing mutual networks and operating methods between Finnish companies develop a plan for the partnership net work to establish in the Chinese markets improve the ability of Finnish companies to procure high-quality subcontracting cost-effectively from China.

It should be noted that actual establishment in China was not a project objective. Companies need to make separate decisions and make business plans to take that step.

Participants VTT played two roles: it worked as a coordinator of the project and as a business networks expert. VTT’s interest is in increasing the companies’ expertise in entering the Chinese markets successfully and in extending its own knowledge of the establishment process. The project involved seven Finnish companies in the Maritime Cluster (ABB Marine, Wärtsila, PursoTools, Bodycote Lämpökäsittely, Paramet Konepaja, KMT Group Oy and Insinööritoimisto Comatec Oy). The main financing body of the project was the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes).

VTT Research Highlights 3  
VTT Research Highlights 3  

Production matters. VTT in global trends. Kai Häkkinen (ed.)