By Kate Madley
Five Welsh businesses returned from the Paris Air Show (17-23 June), with one firm – Tritech – securing an order worth £2.652m.
The Welsh Government’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (AM&M) team hosted a stand at the Paris Air Show, along with 2,215 exhibitors from 44 countries, which attracted visitors in excess of 300,000.
The show brings together the industry’s players from across the globe to showcase the latest technological innovations.
The Welsh Government delegation was led by the then Deputy Minister for skills and technology, Jeff Cuthbert, who is said to have identified potential projects for Wales equating to 200 new jobs and private sector investment of almost £50m.
In a statement, Economy Minister, Edwina Hart, said: “The Aerospace Sector in Wales is hugely significant, with over 22,000 people employed within it and companies such as EADS, comprising Airbus in the UK and Cassidian, BAE Systems, Finmeccanica, General Dynamics, General Electric and Raytheon all adding to a sector that generates sales of well over $5billion per year.
“The Paris Air Show is a key event in the aerospace calendar, alternating with Farnborough annually; it vies to be the premier aerospace event in Europe and one that every aerospace company in the UK will attend. It was important therefore that the Welsh Government had a strong presence.
“Wales has two major aerospace clusters, the North East, including Deeside, and the South East including Cardiff, St Athan and Nantgarw. It has the unique air corridor for unmanned aerial vehicles from ParcAberporth offering the only civil licensed airfield in the UK approved for flying over sea and land.”
In the statement, Mrs Hart also outlined that Mr Cuthbert used the visit to meet with companies including Airbus, Thales, Lockheed Martin, Triumph and Cytec, as well as meetings with representatives from UKTI, BIS and Aerospace, Defence and Security (ADS).
Mrs Hart also outlined the activities from companies who attended the show, including the particular success for Tritech.
“The Welsh companies who joined the Welsh Government on the stand: Tritech, Electroimpact; Faun Trackway; Denis Ferranti and DNA – Agile, all reported the show to be a positive experience which enabled meetings with current and prospective clients,” she said. “The show further ensured that their brand awareness is maintained and relationships continue to develop.
“Tritech in particular reported over 78 visits to their stand of which 14 are of interest and may lead to new customers. They secured an order worth £2.652m at the Air Show.
“The Welsh Government presence at the Paris Air Show reinforces my view that we must be represented at the highest level at key sector events worldwide. I will continue to extol the strength and importance of this vital sector in terms of high technology jobs, revenue and our place within this global market.”