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Estonian maritime sector embraces start-up strategies for global expansion

Companies in the Estonian maritime sector with strong production and modern factories should learn from Estonian start-ups, said Argo Sildvee, the founder and CEO of the Estonian Marine and Manufacturing Initiative (EMI). That is, think big and expand quickly beyond Estonia’s borders.

According to Argo Sildvee, the maritime sector in Estonia today has powerful supply units, modern factories, and an excellent global network of contacts. “We have been building ships for 1,200 years. We have history, people, and networks. We have engineering, production, installation,” he explained. Sildvee mentioned that Estonia has the capabilities to handle shipbuilding entirely on its own, but currently, a significant amount of work is outsourced to Finland. Although Estonia contributes significantly to constructing large cruise ships, this contribution often goes unacknowledged.

As subcontractors to the Finns, French, and Germans, the work of Estonian companies does not stand out. “We still cannot sell ourselves well enough today,” emphasised Sildvee. Finding the courage to come out of the so-called closet and talk about what is being done and how is important.

Many Estonian IT solutions can be applied in the maritime sector, Estonian productions are also modern and powerful, but this knowledge is poorly known. According to Sildvee, a purchasing manager from one of the world’s largest ships recently visited Estonia for two days and was amazed by the country’s impressive factories. He was surprised that such exceptional facilities were not more widely known.

“He said that he had never heard or seen that we have such awesome factories and asked why we were hiding them. I said we are not hiding anything; we have simply delivered as subcontractors,” explained Sildvee. “That is why we must show our capabilities, factories, managers and digitisation,” he added.

Which companies in the maritime sector are currently performing well in sales? How is the Estonian maritime industry faring? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the Estonian maritime sector, and how can general economic policies contribute to the growth of the maritime industry? For more information, watch the video.

Members of the Estonian Marine and Manufacturing Initiative are:

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