Gov. Jay Inslee today announced he will lead a state delegation to the Farnborough International Air Show in July. Business executives, economic development professionals and local government and academic leaders from around the state will join Inslee and state Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender beginning July 13. Following the air show, Inslee will stop in Helsinki.
“Washington is on the cutting edge of so many industries — from aerospace and biotech to clean tech and software,” Inslee said. “This is an opportunity to showcase the tremendous products, services and investment opportunities Washington businesses provide on a global scale.”
Inslee will open the Washington state exhibit at the 2014 Farnborough International Air Show which kicks off July 14. This will be the state’s most prominent showing to date at the air show. Farnborough and the Paris Air Show are widely considered the largest global aerospace industry events. The two events take place on alternate years.
At the show, the governor will meet with chief executive officers and other principals of multiple international aerospace companies to encourage them to expand or locate new facilities in Washington.
“Now that the 777X has landed in Washington, our aerospace future is secure,” Bonlender said. “We now have the opportunity to capitalize on this, the 737 MAX and our other recent successes by concentrating international suppliers in closer proximity to final assembly.”
The Department of Commerce has scheduled meetings for small and medium-sized Washington companies joining the delegation. This strategic matchmaking approach generated more than $35 million in export sales from the June 2013 Paris Air Show as well as five investment projects in Washington by international aerospace companies.
Building on opportunities for the 777X program in Washington is a top priority for the state delegation. Unmanned aerial vehicles and aviation biofuels are among other highly promising segments of the industry for both local and overseas companies and for investors looking to do business in Washington.
“Orion is excited about joining the governor on his trade mission to Farnborough. This is a great opportunity to represent Washington state and increase our presence in the global aerospace market,” said Sean Dwyer, business development manager for Orion Aerospace, a precision metal fabricator and Boeing supplier based in Auburn. “Our experience traveling with the Washington State Department of Commerce delegation to the 2013 Paris Air Show helped us enhance our market penetration in Europe and North America, and we look forward to similar success at the Farnborough Air Show.”
From England, Inslee will travel to Helsinki for meetings with government officials and representatives of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Inslee will visit Nokia, whose mobile devices and services business was acquired by Microsoft in April. He will also tour Neste Oil’s renewable diesel refinery, the largest production facility for renewable jet fuel in the world. As part of efforts to increase foreign direct investment, the governor will meet with companies interested in pursuing investment opportunities in Washington.
Inslee will return to Washington July 20.