As lunchtime approaches in the U.S., business is beginning to wrap up on the third day the 2013 Paris Air Show. With dozens of meetings complete, Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield highlighted three major successes for Alabama at this year’s international aerospace trade event.
1. Progress with Airbus suppliers
“Over the past three days we have been able to meet with dozens of potential suppliers for the Airbus final assembly line under construction in Mobile Alabama. The timing was perfect for us to have substantive conversations with companies that could provide integral services to Airbus at the Mobile facility, including potential tier one suppliers.
Further, we were able to drive more deeply into the supply chain and speak to tier three and four suppliers that represent opportunities for job growth across the state over the next three to five years. I spoke today to a company based in another region of the U.S. that provides precision machining, which is a much-needed resource to support both the aerospace and automotive sectors in the state.”
2. A bigger and better “presence” at the show
“This year, consistent with the goals and strategies set forth by Accelerate Alabama, we launched a new branding and communications effort to project Alabama to the world. At this show, we were more strategic in our communications efforts in order to tell the incredible story of Alabama’s increasingly important role in the global aerospace sector. We set out to reach key executives in the aerospace industry, the professional consultants who work with global companies as they determine where to locate operations, and our neighbors at home.
By telling the story of our progress in real time, we captured the attention of some of the largest companies at the air show who were engaged in our social media efforts. It has been gratifying to see companies with an international presence like Raytheon, Airbus and GE Aviation sharing our stories with their friends and followers.
We also had great feedback from our booth presence at the show, featuring the new branding. People from all over the world, many with connections to Alabama, came up to our booth and asked us for a “Made In Alabama” pin that they could wear at the show. We leveraged a pride in Alabama that goes far beyond the borders of our state.”
3. Anticipated company expansions
“After discussions at the Paris Air Show, we anticipate that there are significant possibilities for expansions from some of our existing Alabama aerospace companies. These are companies that have current operations in Alabama but are also working closely with Airbus at their final assembly lines in other parts of the world. We believe that there is strong potential, following our meetings, that a supply relationship can exist between these companies and Airbus in Alabama for the production of the A320 family of aircraft soon to be assembled in Mobile. These companies are geographically spread throughout the state.”