Meyer Turku shipyard, by Esko Keski-Oja
Germany has already been a strong influence on and an important partner for the City of Turku and Finland as a whole for centuries. Nowadays, the German companies Bayer and Meyer, which are leading the way in their fields of activity on a global level, both play an essential role in this relationship.
Bayer in Turku
- A production and development unit exporting products to more than 100 countries.
- Specialises in medication dosage technologies.
- Offers jobs for approx. 800 employees in Finland, 650 of which are based in Turku.
- Sales of Mirena® products achieved a volume of 986 million euros worldwide in 2015.
Meyer in Turku
- Production facilities in Turku established in 1737.
- Specialises in the construction of cruise ships and ferries of a particularly high standard.
- Offers jobs for approximately 1,550 employees and several times as many jobs when combined with the positions available at its supplier companies.
Valmet Automotive in Uusikaupunki
- The Uusikaupunki car plant was established in 1968.
- Current Valmet Automotive production sites: Uusikaupunki (Finland), Osnabrück (Germany) and Żary (Poland).
- The contract manufacturer’s largest customer is currently Daimler AG.
- After the employment campaign recently launched by the company, the plant in Uusikaupunki will employ approximately 3,000 members of staff.
Germany has already been a strong influence on and an important partner for the City of Turku and Finland as a whole for centuries. Nowadays, the German companies Bayer and Meyer, which are leading the way in their fields of activity on a global level, both play an essential role in this relationship. The Turku region enables these outstanding representatives from the German industry to access highly qualified employees and make use of the local co-operative clusters.
Located by the Baltic Sea, the City of Turku is one of the most traditional university cities in Southwest Finland. The close connections between the Turku region and Germany have been in place for centuries and have had an impact on many different areas of life. After studying under Martin Luther at the University of Wittenberg in Germany in the 16th century, the father of literary Finnish, Mikael Agricola, brought the ideas of the Reformation back to Turku, where they began to spread throughout the whole of Finland.
Nowadays, the high-quality education and training available in Finland is the main factor that attracts companies. The country’s higher education programmes offer a solid basis for the fields of shipbuilding, pharmaceutics and diagnostics. In fact, Finnish institutions of higher education and companies of various sizes have joined together to form high-performance expert clusters in which German companies play a leading role.
Stronger cluster work under German management
The traditional shipyard in Turku was purchased by the family-owned company Meyer from the German city of Papenburg in autumn 2014. In October, Meyer Werft, which is one of the world’s leading shipbuilding companies, concluded a supply contract with the American cruise company Royal Caribbean Cruises for modern LNG cruise ships. As a result, the shipyard’s order books are now full until 2024.
“The fact that we are able to make use of a comprehensive co-operation network of supplier companies in our sector is particularly important for our company in the Turku region. The Blue Industry Park, the industrial park project being implemented by the City of Turku, offers even more opportunities for this co-operation network”, explains Jan Meyer, the Managing Director of Meyer Turku.
Finland offers extremely interesting general conditions that enable us to generate innovation and growth
The production and research site of the globally operating life sciences company Bayer was already established in Turku an impressive 70 years ago. The company additionally relocated its regional headquarters for the Nordic countries to the Finnish city of Espoo five years ago. Bayer Nordic SE plays an active role in the Finnish life sciences sector, which above all stands out due to its outstandingly qualified employees.
“We successfully work in co-operation with innovative companies, universities and innovation institutions, many of which come from the Turku region. Finland offers extremely interesting general conditions that enable us to generate innovation and growth in the life science sector, both now and in the future”, stresses Oliver Rittgen, the Managing Director of Bayer Nordic SE.
A spiritual, intellectual and culinary capital
Alongside shipbuilding and pharmaceutical companies, a multitude of high-ranking companies in the chemical and food industries have also located to the Turku region. The region is home to a total of 300,000 people, 180,000 of which live in the City of Turku.
“The influences that crossed the waters to enter Finland over many centuries, for example the Reformation, have had a significant effect on the development of social structures and the administration and education system in Finland. What was once the country’s first capital city is now also its spiritual, intellectual and culinary capital”, emphasises Pekka Sundman, the Director of the City Development Group of Turku.
What was once the country’s first capital city is now also its spiritual, intellectual and culinary capital
Both democracy and a high level of education are important factors that attract both companies and tourists to Finland. Turku itself is a melting pot of cultures and a location in which both people and companies quickly feel right at home. The port has always had strong connections with western countries, above all Sweden and Germany.
“Every year, thousands of Mercedes-Benz cars are transported across the Baltic Sea from Finland to Germany. As the contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive, which is based in the town of Uusikaupunki near Turku, announced just a few weeks ago, it will need to employ 1,000 new members of staff next year in order to meet the demand for the production of the new SUV model in the GLC class”, states Pekka Sundman, looking back on recent developments.