This conference is being jointly organised by ADS and AFDA – the Association of Finnish Defence and Aerospace Industries – with the active support and assistance of the DIT’s UKDSE and the British Embassy in Helsinki (which will actually be the venue for the main conference, itself), as well as the Finnish MoD. It is due to take place in Helsinki, Finland, on Wednesday 20  to Friday 22 October.

This is a similar conference to the one held in Helsinki on 20 and 21 September 2017, where Min DP Harriet Baldwin attended as the keynote UK Government speaker.


  • Wednesday 20 October – arrival in Helsinki and Welcome Reception at the UK Embassy
  • Thursday 21 October – whole day conference, with business-to-business meetings, and optional dinner in the evening
  • Friday 22 October – another morning of additional business-to-business meetings, and then disperse at lunchtime.

AFDA has some 100 Member Companies, amongst which are such World-famous commercial names as Patria and Environics, to name but two. This proposed conference will provide a platform to explore business development opportunities between both industries, whether seeking new business, collaborative partners in each country or to address opportunities in third countries, or new sources of supply.

The Finnish Defence Budget for 2021 should equate to some €4.87bn, representing some 2% of GDP, and an increase of some 54% on the figure for 2020. Much of this figure is related to the US$12bn HX Fighter Program to replace the current Air Force fleet of 61 x Boeing F/A-18C/D aircraft, which have been in service since 1995, by 2025, with new multi-role fighters. Leaving aside the appropriations linked to the HX Fighter Program (€1.5bn), the overall increase is some 0.7%.

These events are about establishing stronger defence industrial ties between our two nations, through facilitate mutually beneficial networking between defence companies from the UK and Finland, with a view to creating commercially beneficial supply chain relationships. These are widely perceived to be key to chances for commercial success in the international marketplace. As a result, a considerable proportion of the time allocated to this event will comprise providing scope for business-to-business dialogue.