The present situation of the shipbuilding sector compels a further reflection of the way of cooperating especially in the Netherlands. Some time ago our partner Harry Doze has been looking closely at the way the Norwegian maritime sector is structured.
Main question: What makes the Norwegian maritime companies so successful?
A few findings were remarkable and are in contradiction with the Dutch way of operating.
Live and let live
First of all, in Norway local maritime area’s are working closely together; their motto “live and let live”. It is obvious that local area’s like Bergen, Stavanger and Kristiansand see the necessity to uphold the maritime business in their area and are prepared, as a local community, to invest in it. Companies within these local area’s support each other and make sure that their employment and knowledge is kept and strengthened. Outsourcing is limited and only acceptable as long as their own area are not affected.
Strong owners community
Secondly a strong owners community, supported by a wide range of financing possibilities, drag along shipyards and suppliers. Norwegian technical innovations are supported by a solid financial system. Maker lists are predominated by Norwegian suppliers. This is the basis for a strong continuation of the maritime sector.
Financing and export (promotion)
Thirdly, in close cooperation with established financial centres in Oslo, financing and export (promotion) are important instruments for the maritime sector. The public sector as well as strategic alliances between public sector and the business community are the basis for a strong worldwide status. All Norwegian maritime exporters benefit from this strong support.
Since the 90’s of last century discussion about integral cooperation within the Dutch maritime sector are conducted. Integral cooperation expects cultivation of sincerity, trust, mutual respect, understanding and support. In fact, the Dutch are still discussing integral cooperation within the maritime sector, the Norwegians already put it into practice.
One last remark has to be made. As the Norwegians maritime sector is depending on oil and gas, the recent situation in Norway is difficult and might require a restructuring. However the initial cooperation model is one of the best in the world.