The French aeronautics-equipment industry has formed a series of links between large and small companies, aimed at helping the latter increase their export businesses.

The AERO-PME initiative creates links between 50 smaller companies and their larger counter- parts, which already have a strong export base.

"We want to help them improve their performance during a time of intense international competition," says Jean-Robert Martin, president of the equipment branch of French aeronautics-industry body Gifas.

Martin, who is also president of Sextant Avionique, reveals that his company has formed a separate "club" of 12 suppliers to improve access to the Chinese market, where he says there is a need to counter the impression among Chinese industry officials that "-the only credible equipment suppliers are in America. They have been very pleased to see that there is an alternative".

Source: Flight International