The State of Arizona has chosen Farnborough 2000 as the venue for an initiative designed to forge new business links between the US and Europe.

Seven Arizona-based companies and four development agencies, by far the largest contingent to come to the show, are exhibiting on the Arizona stand (Hall 1, E28, supported by Raytheon Hall 2, Stand A13). A series of meetings are set to take place between the Arizona representatives and those of European aerospace agencies.

Earlier this year several of the State's leading aerospace industrialists went on a trade mission to Toulouse, and a number of joint initiatives were launched as a result. A return trip is now being planned. Arizona officials say technology exchanges, joint ventures and improved distributorship arrangements will provide a mutually beneficial alternative to the perceived rivalry between two aerospace consortia on different sides of the Atlantic. "The rivalry between Boeing's 747X Superjumbo and Airbus Industrie's A3XX may seem to have put the US and European aerospace manufacturers on a collision course," says Sally Spray, international director of the Arizona Department of Commerce. Counterparts But we don't see it that way - and neither, when we start talking, do our European counterparts. In reality, there is plenty of scope for us to do business with Europe and for Europe to do business with us. And with our open door policy, we believe we can create a platform for cross trading.

Arizona also boasts some of the industry's best known names, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell and Raytheon, all of which are based in the state. An array of smaller firms also operates there, generating over $1.75 billion worth of exports last year. Complementing this thriving aerospace industry are over 200 public and private airports - of which 6 are international - and a highly skilled workforce.

The state's European Director, Jim Grafton, says: The response to date has been exceptional, with aerospace businesses being the first to recognise the potential for forging trans-Atlantic links. These are two massive markets - but how do you get a foothold unless you are one of the 'big boys' without risk and a sizeable budget? The answer is to link up with a complementary business that is already established, and that is what is now happening. Through Arizona, European companies can get their foot in the US door. We are confident that Farnborough will lead to many such deals being struck.

Source: Flight Daily News