Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Tuesday, 22 April 2008 11:47 UK

100m deals at aero firms event

Airbus A380 super jumbo
Airbus is among the companies attending the event in Cardiff

Buyers from international aerospace companies are taking part in an event which could see them spend millions of pounds with Welsh suppliers.

Aerolink Wales 2008 in Cardiff is linking Welsh firms and other suppliers from across the UK with companies that have an estimated 100m to spend.

"In terms of this sort of manufacturing it is boom time in Wales," said the Aerospace Wales Forum (AWF).

Economy Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said it was a showcase for Welsh expertise.

The event is also seen as an opportunity for delegates to establish deals with universities to work on research projects and product development.

Paul Lindsay of AWF said the aerospace industry in Wales had an annual turnover of 3bn and employed about 25,000 people directly in 180 companies.

He added the industry was predicted to remain strong for the next two years at least and that more small niche engineering firms were working closely with large companies like BAE Systems.

The opportunities are there and if suppliers have the products they have the chance to secure that business
Paul Lindsay, Aerospace Wales Forum

"In terms of this sort of manufacturing it is boom time in Wales," said Mr Lindsay.

"This is mainly driven by Airbus, which has a plant in Broughton, Flintshire and has so many orders.

"But it is important that we do not take our eye off the ball which is why events like this are important."

Mr Lindsay said Welsh suppliers attending the event had been given priority meetings with potential customers and that 520 meetings had already been arranged.

He estimated that around 25 to 30 Welsh firms would be attending.

"The 100m shopping list is a low estimate as I know that two companies alone have 5m to spend," he said.

"The opportunities are there and if suppliers have the products they have the chance to secure that business."

Allied Aerosystems of Treforest, south Wales, which tests and repairs a large range of technical equipment used in aircraft maintenance, secured a contract from Virgin Atlantic as a result of attending a previous Aerolink Wales event.

Guest speakers

As well as buyers, companies sent representatives from their engineering, technical and innovation departments to look at working with universities, who are exhibiting at the event.

Aerolink Wales 2008, which is being held in Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, also includes a conference and seminar programme.

Guest speakers include Rob Bray from Airbus who is the deputy wing architect for the A350 composite wing that will be manufactured at Broughton.

Companies participating in the event include Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, EADS, GE Aircraft Engine Services and Airbus UK.

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, said Aerolink Wales was a key event in the aerospace calendar.

"Aerolink Wales attracts global companies and provides a superb networking opportunity with the one to one business meetings providing an unrivalled opportunity to meet senior key buyers from these companies," he added.




SEE ALSO
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12 Nov 07 |  Business

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