Wednesday 13 February 2013

Eurocopter takes flight in Querétaro

Eurocopter inaugurated its US$100 million plant in Querétaro, Mexico, on February 13, announcing that the new facility would generate approximately 200 jobs related to the manufacture of doors for Airbus aircraft, as well as AS350 Ecureuil helicopter parts.

There will also be a facility that specializes in helicopter maintenance, which could over time boost investment to US$500 million.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto asserted that the Eurocopter plant was an example of how Mexico can take advantage of free trade agreements – something that Mexico intends to revitalize and update.

At present, as measured by sales value, Mexico’s aviation industry ranks 15th in the world. Between 2006 and 2012 the number of aerospace companies in Mexico grew from 109 to 249, generating 30,000 high-value jobs. Aerospace plants are now established in 18 states, with Querétaro alone having 32 of them.

Export growth in the sector has been steady – at about 20% a year – with last year’s export value being an impressive $5.4 billion.  

Specific to Querétaro, governor José Calzada said that aerospace represented about 5,000 jobs and US$1.1 billion in direct investment by foreign companies. To keep up, Querétaro has the only aviation college in the country, which to date has trained 2,500 people. As well, the continued activity has resulted in the development of engineering centers specific to the sector’s highly-specialized suppliers.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com

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