Foster welcomes top UK and Chinese aerospace companies to Northern Ireland

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has welcomed the visit of top executives from the UK and Chinese aerospace industries to Northern Ireland.

The high-powered delegations include representatives from some of the world’s leading aerospace companies, including Airbus, GKN and Rolls-Royce, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, the Chinese state-owned aerospace companies, as well as various Chinese government agencies.

Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast, hosted the UK/China Aviation Working Group meeting, and a business to business event of one-to-one level meetings between Northern Ireland and Chinese aerospace companies, to explore opportunities for business development and greater industrial co-operation.

Speaking as she welcomed the group to Parliament Buildings for an evening reception, the Minister said: “This visit, organised with the help of Invest Northern Ireland, represents an excellent opportunity to establish and build relationships with the emerging aerospace sector of one of the world’s most powerful countries.

“That such major players in the global aerospace industry have chosen to visit Northern Ireland, and hold a strategically important meeting here, is indicative of the local sector’s international reputation.

“Developing its capability in aerospace is a strategic priority for the Chinese government. This is why it has looked to the UK, indeed to Northern Ireland, as a centre of expertise with which it can establish useful knowledge-sharing partnerships. These links will also have the potential to deliver valuable supply chain opportunities for the many local companies in the sector.”

The visit to Belfast has been organised by UK Trade and Investment in conjunction with Invest NI and the West of England Aerospace Forum as part of a programme of events around the UK involving the UK/China Aviation Working Group.