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News 17.10.2022

Team Finland visit open the doors of a French shipyard for companies

A Finnish business delegation made contacts at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France from October 4-6, 2022. Photgrapher: Yann Gontier, CDA

The Team Finland network, which promotes the growth and internationalization of companies, arranged a visit to the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, at the beginning of October, led by Petri Peltonen, permanent undersecretary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The participating companies had an excellent opportunity to showcase their products and solutions and to familiarize themselves with the shipyard and its ecosystem.

Large Finnish companies are already among the main suppliers of Chantiers de l'Atlantique, but for smaller companies, the visit offered a unique opportunity to reach the same negotiating tables. The shipyard also has a genuine interest and need to find reliable suppliers who are constantly developing their products and solutions.

Laurent Castaing, managing director of Chantiers de l’Atlantique, introduced the visitors to the current state of the shipyard, the opportunities it offers and the challenges it has in labor availability.

Business Finland arranged an opportunity for Finnish companies to meet with the party responsible for purchasing the product or solution they represent. In practice, this meant giving a sales pitch and agreeing on further negotiations with the right person.

One of the 11 companies that participated in the visit was Cadmatic Oy, a leading developer of digital and intelligent 3D-based design, engineering and data management software for the marine industry.

“We opted to make a visit to receive information about the shipyard and the situation of shipbuilding in France and the prospects for the near future. In addition, we wanted to find the right contacts,” explains Juha Asanti, Cadmatic’s vice president of Marine Industry.

“The visit was well organized, and we were able to have concrete discussions with the French participants. The following steps have been planned and discussions will continue. The shipyard is the number one in France and an important reference on the cruise market both in Europe and globally,“ Asanti continues.

The companies that paid a visit to Team Finland headed home satisfied and looking forward to further negotiations, because without the arrangements of the Team Finland network, it is often challenging to find the right negotiating partner.

Maria Westerholm, who has been organizing Team Finland visits in Business Finland for a long time, shared tips with companies that are considering visits of their own.

Why should companies be involved in delegations?

As part of a larger entity, delegations are an excellent, strong tool. The visits support the export promotion work of companies. Visits can be the culmination of long work or the beginning of it, or open doors that would otherwise not open. The purpose of the visits is to meet the right contacts and end-customers or to help to outline new markets.

Physical encounters are also fruitful in terms of networking between companies and have sometimes resulted in Finnish cooperation and joint offers. During their visit, participants have to spend time on a bus in local traffic, for example. Participants have appreciated informal interactions, both with Finnish companies and with locals.

How can a company join a delegation?

The visits are thematically targeted and it is stated in the invitations who they are intended for and who would benefit from participating in them. All Finnish companies that already operate or are considering operating on the international market are welcome to visit. All the organized visits are available on Business Finland’s website and you can also subscribe to receive visit invitations via email.

How should a company prepare for a delegation?

The visits require preparation, active participation, supplementary work and follow-up. They can last from a couple of days to a week. The invitation always includes information about the program plan. The most important thing is to define a goal for yourself about what you want to accomplish for your company by taking part in a visit. A delegation visit is a tool or instrument for achieving a goal.

Information about Team Finland visits

Further information

Maria Westerholm, Senior Director, Delegations
+358 40 343 3431
+358 29 505 5000
maria.westerholm (at)