24/07/2002

NI aerospace industry represented at Farnborough

“Northern Ireland aerospace companies must strengthen their knowledge base and overall competitiveness with greater focus on innovation through R&D projects and technology transfer from collaboration with overseas partners,” said Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

Sir Reg was speaking during a visit to the Farnborough International Air Show, where he visited the Northern Ireland stand, organised jointly by Invest Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Aerospace Consortium.

Twelve companies are represented on the Northern Ireland group stand and a further three are visiting the show, which runs from 22-28 July, on an Invest NI trade development visit.

Sir Reg said the aerospace industry was a "strategically important industry in terms of its export earnings, the application of knowledge, of world class manufacturing technology and the promotion of engineering skills."

The Minister welcomed the recent Strategic Framework for the industry that has been completed by Invest NI and the Northern Ireland Aerospace Consortium.

The overall vision of the framework is an industry based on collaboration, investment and innovation. The aim will be to win recognition as proactive, world-class providers of products and services, competing effectively within the global aerospace industry.

Sir Reg said: “International shows such as Farnborough enable local companies to keep pace with trends within the industry and to put their products and expertise in front of major manufacturers and their main suppliers.

“Farnborough is an exceptionally important event for our aerospace industry and has an excellent track record. It provides companies with an unrivalled opportunity to see what 1,200 other exhibitors are doing and to identify potential business contacts."

The event caters for almost 200,000 business visitors from around 60 countries, and a programme of meetings with aerospace companies from the US, France and Italy has been arranged for the Northern Ireland group during the show.

(SP)

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