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New report: International opportunities for the maritime industry

22 March 2017

Swedish maritime industries have strong positions on the world market, but more interaction and cooperation is needed to strengthen the Swedish maritime sector's international competitiveness.

In order to strengthen the export promotion in the maritime area, the organisation Business Sweden, on behalf of the Swedish Government has mapped out three sectors within the Swedish maritime industry: Transportation, Maritime Technology and Production, and the Sea as a natural resource.

Business Sweden writes in the report that several companies in the Swedish maritime industry has successfully positioned itself in the world market. These include the Swedish shipping companies engaged in transoceanic and RoRo shipping, our multi-national companies with conductive materials, systems and cutting edge technology as well as the smaller suppliers and technology companies that supply components and innovative digital solutions.

Business Sweden has identified a number of areas where the Swedish maritime competitiveness can be further strengthened through closer cooperation and believes that the following areas should be given priority.

Sustainable and eco-technology products and services
"Sweden is at the forefront of new sustainable solutions and this competence should be used in marketing and promotion internationally. It can strengthen the competitiveness of Swedish shipping companies, shipyards and various maritime technology companies."

"More business opportunites and competitive advantage for maritime technology companies can be created by further strengthening of the competence in the area, and through support for collaboration and cooperation for the development of new innovative systems."

Smart systems for analysis, automation and communication
"Like many Swedish industries, the Swedish-developed digital technology, automation and smart solutions has become a competitive advantage in international business, this also applies to several industry segments within the maritime industry. With continued focus on this area, and by strengthening the conditions for research and development and cooperation between authorities, academies and companies, can strengthen Sweden industry and create further opportunities for enhanced international cooperation and increased business. "

"It is important to further develop and promote the leading position in maritime security that Swedish maritime companies possesses. Increasing geopolitical uncertainty and transports require safe handling and coordination, as well as the need to find balance for human involvement which creates conditions and international business opportunities. Joint collaboration and joint marketing is needed reach new business opportunities."

Business Sweden has also identified international trade and business obstacles, affecting the Swedish maritime sector. These are:
* Increasing protectionism
* Britain's withdrawal from the EU
* Low oil prices that reduces maritime investments
* Lack of competitive neutrality between countries
* Lack of prioritization and focus on a smaller number of ports
* Lack of competent labour such as engineers and technicians

The report concludes with suggestions on measures to strengthen international competitiveness.

A cutting edge Swedish maritime cluster
"Sweden should, like other countries such as Norway and the UK, create a successful cluster, and for this to flourish, all parts of the industry needs to be involved together with the responsible authorities. Through active maritime clusters and increased collaboration, the industry can work together to develop successful and competitive solutions, systems and concepts."

Dialogue on national policy and its impact on industry
"Swedish authorities should conduct more frequent and continuous dialogue with companies. For example by inviting them to discussions of relevance to the industry's various sectors. It is also important that the industry is working actively to keep the authorities informed of the challenges of the Swedish maritime industry, and on existing products and services and competitiveness. "

Common platform for international marketing
"The industry is proposing the development of a common platform for international marketing based on strong areas such as sustainability, environmental and safety and on the industry specific experience and individual success stories."

Stronger presence at trade shows and conferences
"As an extension of a joint marketing platform, with well-developed concept for export and investment promotion, efforts should be made to have a stronger presence at international fairs and conferences relevant to reach key markets and maintain and develop contacts with key customers and collaborations."

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