Expert: Finland was successful in fighter jet purchases, but threatens to be late for commercial cooperation with the USA

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According to the expert, Finland's NATO membership and the acquisition of fighter jets create opportunities for commercial cooperation with the United States, but they have been woken up too late. haumlvittaumljaumlkaupois-but-threatens-myoumlhaumlstyauml-commercial-cooperation-with-the-usa-3a43945.jpg” alt=”Expert: Finland succeeded in losing trades, but threatens to trade co-operation with the USA: with ” />

The 10 billion euro fighter jet deal concluded in February is the largest arms deal in Finnish history. Kimmo Mäkiselkä[email protected] Today at 10:00 a.m.

Finland agreed in February that the US company Lockheed Martin will supply Finland with a total of 64 F-35 fighter jets.

At the same time, the purchase of fighter jets worth 10 billion euros will strengthen Finland's defense industrial cooperation with the Lockheed Martin Group and its partners.

Finland's cooperation with the West is also promoted by NATO membership, which is currently in the ratification process, which is said to eliminate Finland's land risk. Thus, a better opportunity opens up for Finland to also develop wider commercial and industrial cooperation with American partners.

However, according to information from Iltalehti, criticism has been raised by the fact that while the Finnish government prepared the fighter jet sale well, other commercial cooperation related to it was forgotten. commercial cooperation is still on the scaffolding, an expert source commented to Iltalehte.

Cooperation of billions

Due to the EU regulations, traditional trade-offs are no longer allowed in fighter aircraft procurements. Instead, in connection with the F-35 fighter jet purchases, it has been agreed that Lockheed Martin and its partners will do defense industrial cooperation directly related to fighter procurement and national security with Finnish operators such as Patria and Insta.

The amount is about 30 percent of the purchase of the total value, i.e. three billion euros.

The Ministry of Defense has estimated the domestic employment effect of fighter jet sales and defense industrial cooperation to be directly 4,500 person-years and indirectly 1,500 person-years.

Other above

EK's head of international trade Timo Vuori wants Finland's trade cooperation to work deepening with the United States according to the Danish and Norwegian model. Tiina Somerpuro

In connection with their own F-35 deals, Denmark and Norway built a separate operating model with Lockheed Martin, in which other bilateral commercial and industrial and technological cooperation with companies is also extensively deepened.

Denmark and Norway have already added resources in Washington and established a consultancy whose task is to bring suitable business partners to the same table with Lockheed Martin.

-Finland must also create a similar cooperation model with the United States, says EK's director of international trade Timo Vuori.

However, according to Iltalehti's information, in Finland and in Business Finland, which offers internationalization services, it has been thought that the new commercial opportunities that open up with the acquisition of fighter jets will be managed with old resources and operating methods for Finland. . Now if there was an opportunity to do them, we would like to go with the old resources and say that they are sufficient, says one source.

According to Vuori, the creation of the Danish and Norwegian model would also require a new kind of know-how from Finland and additional resources for the United States.

EK is already preparing together with public and private partners a project where Washington 1-2 commercial experts would be hired by the turn of the year.

-Finland's honeymoon lasts maybe 2-4 years, so now is the moment when we have to act, says Vuori.

< p class="paragraph">According to EK's head of international trade, cooperation with the United States could include, for example, telecommunications, the use of artificial intelligence and data, environmental and energy technology, space or Arctic technology, and infrastructure solutions.

Lockheed Martin's top management recently who met EK CEO Jiri Häkämiehenaccording to the company's representatives have emphasized the growing importance of the civilian side as a source of technology and innovation for the future defense industry. The company has also emphasized its strong interest in Finland's know-how.

– For example, Sweden is traditionally much better known commercially in the United States, so this is a good moment for Finland in many ways, Vuori says.

< p class="paragraph">EK's commercial director is not yet at this stage assessing the financial value of future cooperation for Finland.

– The amounts depend entirely on the companies and the deals they sign, Vuori says.

Benefits of NATO membership

According to EK CEO Jyri Häkämie, representatives of the Lockheed Martin company are interested in Finland's know-how. KIMMO HAAPALA

According to EK's Vuori, NATO membership and the acquisition of fighter jets will shift the focus of Finland's foreign trade a few notches to the west.

With NATO membership, Finland will be able to join all countries of the alliance defense industrial procurement, which has not been possible before.

For example, Germany will acquire a lot of new defense equipment in the next few years.

Last year, the top three countries in Finland's exports were Germany (EUR 9.2 billion), Sweden (EUR 7.1 billion) and the United States (EUR 4.7 billion).

–A few moves to the west is a smart choice for Finland in the new geopolitical situation on the market, when Russia isolates itself and the China risks also need to be reassessed, Vuori concludes.

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