The Center for the Security of Supply refused the help of the prestigious Finnish company Optinova to order the protective equipment needed for coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish) and procured clearly lower quality face shields through Tiina Jylhä, known as a beauty entrepreneur and Onni Sarmaste, a fast loan businessman.
The deal has created an unprecedented mess and Tomi Lounema, the CEO of the Security of Supply Center, was forced to resign.
Tuula Haatainen, the Minister of Employment also responsible for the operations of the Security of Supply Center, did not hear about the stores until Suomen Kuvalehti reported.
Optinova offered help
According to Yle, some Finnish firms contacted the Security of Supply Center and offered their help. One of them was Optinova, an Åland-based manufacturer of pharmaceutical equipment parts.
Optinova offered its help so that the Finnish state could procure hundreds of thousands of hospital-level face shields and other equipment needed to treat and prevent the Covid-19 crisis.
The Security of Supply Center has so far refused to procure products through the connections provided by Optinova. The products would have been purchased either through Optinova's Chinese subsidiary in Shanghai or directly from the product manufacturers in China.
Help offered for free
Anders Wiklund, CEO of Optinova said, “We have 20 years of experience in the Chinese market, we have local quality controllers and we were ready to help for free, which means we did not want to make a profit with this.”
Optinova has been operating in the international market for a long time and its sales are almost exclusively abroad.