At the Farnborough air show, ShowNews will explore Economic Development activities around the world in a four day series that covers the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe and North Africa.
The quest for jobs has led to the biggest-ever participation at the Farnborough air show from state and quasi-governmental economic development agencies, spearheaded by the U.S. and followed by Canada and Mexico.
No fewer than 33 U.S. entities are flocking to the show, representing 21 different states. A record seven state governors are leading their contingents, from Washington, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Florida and Kansas.
Both Canada and Mexico are making a national effort overseas to build their aerospace industries.
Europe's efforts are nowhere near as concentrated. It is foreign companies that the Americas are trying to attract, even as Finmeccanica declares the U.S. will be its third home market and Rolls-Royce nears the opening of its first U.S. new manufacturing and and assembly plant (apart from Allison in Indianapolis). Airbus buys $12 billion a year in parts from the U.S., and North America wants to increase that amount.
The U.S. presence has been fueled by the The State Trade and Export Promotion Program (STEP), a 3-year pilot trade and export initiative authorized by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. Funded by federal grants and matching funds from the states, the STEP Program is designed to help increase the number of small businesses that are exporting and to raise the value of exports for those small businesses that are currently exporting.
Through the STEP grants, SBA awarded approximately $30,000,000 last year, supporting approximately $43,400,000 of total projects costs. SBA is authorized to grant up to $30 million to states each year under the program for a total of $90 million. Georgia, for example, has nearly $2 million for projects that specifically include supporting participation in foreign trade shows.
Pick up your free copy of ShowNews at the show, or read it online at www.aviationweek.com (from 9 July).