Washington state officials, suppliers seek prospects at Paris Air Show

A Washington state delegation slogged through intense heat this week to speed-date potential clients in a rapid-fire series of business meetings at the Paris Air Show and a preshow visit to Airbus in Toulouse.

A Washington state delegation slogged through intense heat this week to speed-date potential clients in a rapid-fire series of business meetings at the Paris Air Show and a preshow visit to Airbus in Toulouse.

Aside from gathering intelligence on industry trends, the hope is that this effort will “later turn into real money and real jobs,” said U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens, who led the delegation.

Larsen said new growth areas with great potential for the state include commercial space and drones.

He said in a telephone interview that he was struck by the growth in global competition evident at the show, compared to his last visit four years ago. “The Chinese are here to stay,” Larsen said.

If the state didn’t send a delegation, he said, “we wouldn’t know how much people are eating our lunch.”

While Boeing and Airbus focus on announcing airplane sales in Paris, the big suppliers to the two giants use the occasion to network with sub-tier suppliers.

Several suppliers with facilities in Washington — for example, interiors manufacturer Zodiac, or systems supplier Crane Aerospace — are big enough to have their own presence at the Air Show. They and the smaller businesses represented in the state’s delegation, this year the largest ever to go to Paris, arrive looking for work contracts and to build relationships in the supply chain.

The state Department of Commerce cited one delegate who had failed to gain entree to Lockheed Martin in the U.S. but established a procurement contact with the defense contractor on the first day of the show.

Meanwhile, state government officials not only facilitate meetings for the suppliers in the delegation but also hunt for companies they can recruit to…

Read the full article from the Source…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *