Helsinki (08.01.2000 - Juhani Artto) There was good news to usher in the new millennium for the Finnish shipbuilding industry. Masa-Yards, the leading shipbuilding company in Finland, won an order for a Spirit-class luxury cruise liner worth about FIM 2,000 million (EUR 330 million, USD 350 million). This matches jobs for 5,000 employees for one year.
In spite of this, the future of the industry in Finland and the other EU Member States is under serious threat. The global market share of the EU shipbuilding industry has fallen below 20 per cent. Ten years ago it was about 30 per cent.
The industry blames the loss on South Korea's aggressive expansion campaign, which the EU and European companies claim to be based on unfair subsidies. According to European sources, the South Koreans have reduced their prices below the level of material costs alone in the worst tenders.