Finland strengthens its commercial expertise and presence in Washington – collaboration also serves as a springboard for companies in Espoo

15.2.2023 14.03

Finland’s F-35 fighter procurement opens up entirely new opportunities for Finland to deepen its commercial and industrial collaboration with the United States. Led by the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), Finland’s top economic regions (Espoo, Helsinki, Oulu, Tampere, Turku and Vantaa), together with Business Finland and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have launched the Gateway to US Industrial Platforms project. Martti Wallin, who has a solid background in international business, will begin leading the project in March.

In addition to the defence industry, the Americans are interested in Finland’s diverse expertise and critical technology, ranging from smart infrastructure to cyber security and energy efficiency. The civilian industry's expertise strengthens the competitiveness of the defence industry. 

Martti Wallin, who is due to start working as an Industrial Counselor in Washington this March, emphasises that persistent and determined efforts, along with effective networking, are essential for succeeding in the United States’ market.  

“Knowing the right person and choosing the right way to market Finnish expertise is key”, Wallin points out. He has forged a long career in the international defence market while working for companies such as Patria and Valmet. 

New corporate collaboration with the USA about to start 

“Lockheed Martin has highlighted how important civilian technology and innovations are for a modern and competitive defence industry,” says Jyri Häkämies, Director General of EK, who recently met with the company's top management.  

Denmark and Norway established a business collaboration with Lockheed Martin in the wake of their F-35 procurements, which enabled them to explore opportunities for deeper commercial and technological cooperation between companies. Finland is also planning to follow this precedent. 

“The fighter procurement, our future NATO membership and a clearer country image provide Finland with completely new opportunities for cooperation with the United States”, stresses Mikko Hautala, Finland's Ambassador to the United States.  

According to Hautala, the project currently being launched is a unique example of a new kind of Finnish public-private collaboration.

"This would not have been possible without the input of EK and our top cities”, Hautala says.    

“Being able to participate in a collaborative project to promote Finnish technology exports and to explore new opportunities in the United States is valuable. There is strong technological know-how and research in Espoo. They allow us to create the impressive innovations that the world needs”, says Mervi Heinaro, Espoo's Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Sports and Culture.

Business Finland’s Executive Director Risto Vuohelainen also points out that “Finland needs to strengthen its presence in the United States”.  

According to Vuohelainen, in the next few years, Finland must get as much commercial use as possible out of the interest in Finland and its technological expertise. 

Are you interested in participating in corporate collaboration with the United States? Please contact:

Pekka Kupila
Senior Business Advisor, Enter Espoo
tel. +358 40 5860938