“Choose Washington” delegation heads to Tokyo for Japan International Aerospace Exhibition, Nov. 28-30
America’s top state for aerospace design, manufacturing and assembly brings the best in innovation and workforce to the largest aerospace industrial market in Asia.
OLYMPIA, Wash – The Washington State Department of Commerce is leading a trade delegation to Tokyo for the Japan International Aerospace Exhibition, Nov. 28 – 30. Seven companies, the Port of Moses Lake and Pierce County will be represented in the “Choose Washington State USA” exhibit in the USA Pavilion at the expo, which is expected to draw 20,000 visitors from dozens of countries. The Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies organizes the event in cooperation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and support from the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Cabinet Office of strategic Headquarters for Space Policy, the Ministry of Defense and others.
Two separate independent studies this year ranked Washington as the most competitive place in the U.S. and globally for aerospace manufacturing operations [Teal Report on Aerospace Competitive Economics Study; Pricewaterhousecoopers Aerospace manufacturing attractiveness rankings].
“We continue to set the pace for innovation here, and we continue to set the pace for aircraft production, thanks to 136,100 men and women who make up the finest aerospace workforce in the world,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender.
Last year, nearly 90 percent of all commercial aircraft produced in North America were built in Washington. The state has over 1,400 aerospace related companies providing every major manufacturer and airline in the world with machinery, parts, avionics, components, structures, interiors and services. Washington workers produce 1,400 new planes and unmanned aerial system vehicles annually.
A Washington-built Boeing 737 takes off or lands somewhere in the world every 2.2 seconds.
“Accounting for nearly 11 percent of all wages and $70 billion in economic activity, the impact of our aerospace industry extends well beyond the Greater Seattle-Puget Sound region,” Bonlender said. “Trade missions like the Japan International Aerospace Expo are helping small and medium-sized businesses access new markets and growth opportunities in this important sector, strengthening communities all across the state.”
While Japan’s aerospace sector is small compared to its auto, electronics and computer industries, space and civil aircraft show significant upside potential, with growing opportunities for suppliers and technology companies based in Washington.
“The Japan International Aerospace Exhibition is an excellent opportunity for our diverse aerospace, unmanned aerial systems and space industry segments to promote their expertise to a new market and expand their customer base,” said Robin Toth, the state’s director of economic development for the aerospace and space sector. “The Commerce team supports our industry partners with programs and services that allow them to research and test these new markets at a more accelerated pace and a lower cost of entry.”
Companies showcasing their products and services in the Choose Washington exhibit are: repair and overhaul specialists A&R Aviation Services, supply chain management services provider AMGI Inc., high-performance sensors and systems maker Gladiator Technologies division of LKD Aerospace, precision manufacturer Hobart Machined Products, Inc., engineering consultancy IDEA International, space communications provider RBC Signals, and specialty metals company Service Steel Aerospace, and the Port of Moses Lake, home to the Grant County International Airport flight test center used for the Mitsubishi MRJ and other civilian and military aircraft programs. Pierce County Councilmember Pam Roach (District 2) will accompany the group. Pierce County is an essential link in the Washington state’s aerospace supply chain, with a regional network of over 600 aerospace firms.
Four companies are using State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) vouchers available through Commerce. The STEP voucher program, funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, reimburses certain costs of export activities for eligible small businesses.
In addition to the voucher program, Commerce export assistance includes business-to-business matchmaking, networking events and more services that small businesses typically would not be able to afford on their own.
Follow our Washington delegation in East Hall 7, #7208 at JA2018 Tokyo on twitter @WAStateCommerce, #ChooseWA.