Prime Minister David Cameron showed his support for UK aerospace and defence with a visit to UK exhibitors at the Dubai Airshow at the weekend. He visited ADS for an introduction to the UK Pavilion, before meeting several UK supply chain businesses and delivering a speech.
Speaking to UK exhibitors at the Dubai Airshow, the Prime Minister said: “One of our greatest strengths is Aerospace: We have the second largest aerospace industry anywhere in the world.”
“This is an absolutely vital industry for Britain. It employs 230,000 people – the second largest in the world. Every day, aircraft are taking off with British wings, British landing gear and Rolls-Royce engines. We can be incredibly proud of this industry.”
Describing the sector as one with “real Government backing”, the Prime Minister went on to describe the importance of the Defence Growth Partnership and Aerospace Growth Partnership, both of which have been important in forging closer links between Government and industry to identify and seize opportunities for future growth.
One such opportunity is the projected increase in demand in the Middle East – a fact that is recognised by UK companies who attended the 2013 Dubai Airshow in record numbers. This year, the UK Pavilion was bigger than ever before, comprising 38 companies, compared to just 14 in 2011. To accommodate this increase, the ADS-hosted UK Pavilion has almost doubled in size to 365².
The Prime Minister concluded: by saying; “We as a country, to succeed in the future, should play to our strengths. Succeeding in this global economy doesn’t mean trying to compete at the bottom end with low pay, low wages, and low value added. It means competing at the top end with high skilled, high paid, high quality jobs. And that is what you see in the British aerospace industry: a massive amount of R&D, a huge amount of investment, very high skills, very good creation of intellectual property and that’s why you’re so vital, not just in terms of your own future, but in terms of the whole country’s future.
“That’s why I’m very proud to stand here today, at this display, with many more companies exhibiting here than there were two years ago, and to say that the Government is absolutely behind your industry, whether it is civil aerospace, defence aerospace or whether it is the many SMEs involved in this vital industry.”