Cédric Post – French Aerospace Industries Association – GIFAS Deputy Director in charge of International Development
HOW THE OBJECTIVES OF GIFAS HAVE CHANGED IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?
First, on a national point of view, we can say that the crisis in our sector is behind us, which means that cadences are increasing in prime contractors’ plants. Our aim is to accompany the ramp-up, in order to make it smooth for all players.
On an international point of view, the globalization of the market and the success of our products abroad (77% of the production is exported) is making it necessary for our companies to be more and more present outside of the country, in this GIFAS can facilitate, providing its members information about different areas and organizing their presence at international industry trade events.
HOW MANY MEMBERS ARE PART OF GIFAS?
GIFAS has got some 300 members, from prime contractors to equipment manufacturers and SMEs. We also have 5 regional members and clusters. We are welcoming every year new members, but we are not competing to increase the number.
The quality of the relationship we can have is the main driver.
WHICH ARE THE MAIN FRENCH AEROSPACE COMPANIES CURRENTLY OPERATING IN MEXICO?
SAFRAN is not only the main French player in Mexico, it is also the main aerospace player in the country with more than 3000 employees. Among other key players: DAHER, EUROCOPTER DE MEXICO, LABINAL DE MEXICO, MANOIR, MESSIER BUGATTI DOWTY, RADIALL and SNECMA AMERICA ENGINE SERVICES.
WHICH ARE THE MAIN BUSINESSES REASONS DRIVING FRENCH AEROSPACE COMPANIES TO MEXICO?
French companies find a favorable ecosystem in Mexico. For years, France has been supporting the creation of aerospace clusters such as Queretaro and Chihuahua and is investing in education centers. Therefore, a skilled workforce is now available in Mexico. Also, in 2011, the IAS (Institute Aéronautique et Spatial), the international cooperation agency of GIFAS, jointly with the Mexican Ministry of Trade and Tech of Monterrey, has been implementing in the country 4 training sessions on supply chain management. Some 180 Mexican SMEs have been benefiting of these sessions.
HOW IMPORTANT IS MEXICO FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE FRENCH AEROSPACE INDUSTRY?
If we take the example of SAFRAN, Mexico represents the 3rd presence of the group in the world, with 4,200 employees within end of 2012, 8 plants built since 2007 and consequently over 25% business generated per year over the past 2 years. Mexico is also an important customer for French products from aircrafts or security products to the launch of satellites.
HOW HAS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MEXICO AND FRANCE EVOLVED IN THE AEROSPACE INDUSTRY?
Regarding what has been said before, it is obvious that the relationship between our 2 countries is strengthening. In order to reinforce the partnership, GIFAS and FEMIA signed last year a MoU during Paris Air Show, and I can tell you that we already have new projects of cooperation ongoing.