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Southampton’s marine sector partners with Finland in ambitious plans

A FINNISH delegation has visited Southampton as part of ambitious plans to "champion" business between the two countries.

Bosses from Southampton-based Maritime UK Solent and Finland-based Turku Business Region have signed an agreement to work together.

Dozens of Finish and British representatives met at the National Oceanography Centre to spearhead the trading pact.

Stuart Baker, director of Maritime UK Solent, said that the maritime sector forms 20 percent of the local economy and employs an estimated 49,000 in the Solent area.

He said that the organization wants to “champion” the sector and get it on an international footing to promote assets such as Southampton’s National Oceanography Centre.

On Thursday, a presentation was given on the history of both companies and what they do.

A memorandum was then signed by Stuart and Kari Sillanpää, the director of technology and maritime industries at Turku Business Region.

The organizations now plan on sharing ideas, information, and studies to support the marine sector in both countries.

Stuart said: "One of the main wins from today is that we've both agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding to collaborate.

"That will be between our regions so that we can have this ongoing relationship and ongoing commitment to talk to each other, to share information, to share opportunities, and all for the benefit of our businesses and growing the maritime sector in each region."

Kari, added: "It's been a great day for us. After two years of Covid-19 and the pandemic, it's great to meet face-to-face again and with the agreement, we will lay the ground for the future goal.

"We have two very similar areas but we also have a good amount of differences between us.

"These together will support each other and will give us something new.

"I look forward to what our cooperation will bring us."

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