WALES’ Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething is flying the flag for the nation’s aerospace companies at the Paris Air Show today and is using the visit to encourage companies interested in investing in the UK to make Wales their location of choice.
The Minister’s two-day visit coincides with Wales in France year, the Welsh Government’s year-long celebration of Wales’ historic links with France.
Paris is the largest aerospace event in the world, attracting over 2,400 exhibitors from 49 countries and 139,000 trade visitors from 185 countries.
Wales is a centre of excellence for aerospace manufacturing and MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) related activities, with more than 160 companies employing more than 23,000 people across the country, accounting for 10% of the UK’s aerospace industry.
Five of the top 10 global aerospace and defence companies have a significant presence in Wales including Raytheon, GE, Airbus, General Dynamics and Safran. Their state-of-the-art facilities manufacture, supply, maintain, repair and overhaul aircraft from around the world.
Wales is also home to world-leading research which is supporting Aerospace and its transition to Net Zero by 2050. This includes research at 8 universities, and at Catapult R&D Centres at AMRC Cymru in north Wales and the Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult in south Wales.
The Welsh Government has a pavilion at the Paris Air Show to promote Wales’ aerospace and space capabilities to a global audience.
The Minister’s itinerary at the show includes meetings with some of the world’s leading aerospace companies, including Airbus, Thales, GE, Triumph and Safran.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
“The aerospace sector plays a major role in the Welsh economy, employing tens of thousands of people across the country. From the wings manufactured by Airbus in north Wales and Thales and Safran’s high-tech innovations in south Wales, I’m very proud that our aerospace companies are leading players in their fields.
“Wales’ presence at the Paris Air Show this week allows us to showcase our industry to a global audience. My message to that audience is clear – Wales is a great place to invest, and that the Welsh Government is a stable government and a trusted partner for businesses who want to make their future part of Wales’ future.
“I’m very much looking forward to meeting industry representatives and to do all we can to promote Wales and our considerable strengths and talent to the world.”
The aerospace sector in Wales is a dynamic growth industry that operates on best practice techniques and is supported directly by Aerospace Wales.
As the trade association for all companies operating in the aerospace & defence sector in Wales, Aerospace Wales works closely with the Welsh Government to promote Welsh capabilities globally, facilitate collaboration and networking opportunities and encourage and support participation at major international events.
Wales has strong links with France:
There are 80 French companies in Wales employing over 10,000 people.
France is Wales’ 3rd largest inward investor, and over the past 8 years, investments by French companies have created over 1,700 new jobs in Wales and safeguarded over 6,400 jobs.
France is also a significant export partner, with over £1.5bn exports from Wales to France in 2022, making France the 4th biggest export destination for Welsh goods.