India on governor’s latest aerospace trade mission

By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer

Gov. Chris Gregoire has India in her sights as part of a trade mission in October.

The region’s aerospace industry serves as the main draw for the trade trip, which kicks off Sept. 30 in Bangalore, India. The trip is being coordinated through the Department of Commerce and includes a stop in Seoul, South Korea.

India’s aviation market is growing quickly. It’s the ninth largest market in the world and is predicted to become one of the top five by 2020. A Boeing Co. study estimates India’s aviation sector could be valued at $150 billion by 2030. The country’s ministry of civil aviation predicts India will have a commercial jet fleet of 1,000 jets by the end of the decade.

Besides its booming demand for commercial jets, India also has expanding military needs. The country’s defense budget could increase to $44 billion by 2016 from its current value of $32 billion, according to a Commerce Department report.

Participants on the governor’s trade mission will meet with Indian government officials as well as private sector leaders. Many of those meetings may not be possible outside the governor-led trip.

The trade mission runs from Sept. 30 to Oct. 11 with stops in Hyderabad, Delhi and Mumbai, according to Commerce’s tentative agenda.

Gregoire led a trade group earlier this summer to the Farnborough Airshow outside London. The governor and her delegation met with dozens of aerospace companies, including major jet makers Boeing and Airbus. On that trip, aerospace suppliers announced the addition of up to 175 jobs in Snohomish County as a result of companies expanding in the region or locating in the area.

“Aerospace continues to be a bright spot in our economic recovery,” Gregoire said in July. “And I want to ensure this critical industry succeeds and grows here long after my time in the governor’s office.”

For more information on the governor’s trade mission, go to www.choosewashington.com/industries/aerospace/TradeMissions or contact Monica Wiedrich at 206-256-6145.