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ITALY LOOKS FOR NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AT LAAD 2009
There couldn’t have been a better calling card for the Italian aerospace industry, in view of this year's LAAD, the main Brazilian trade fair of the sector. In November 2008, the Italian space agency (Asi) signed a letter of intent with its Brazilian counterpart (Aeb) to prepare future collaborations on space programmes and technological development. LAAD 2009, scheduled from April 14th to 17th in Rio De Janeiro, is getting ready with fresh interest to welcome a reputable industry with a view towards potential partnerships, encouraged by the recent agreement, sealed on the occasion of the visit to Italy of the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
LAAD, which is held every two years, is the leading trade show in Latin America for the aerospace industry and for “triservice” defence and homeland security systems. It also includes a Helitech pavillion, entirely dedicated to helicopters and helicopter technology, providing another opportunity to appreciate Made in Italy solutions, in a field in which Italy plays a leading role. This is thanks to AugustaWestland, one of the key competitors in the global helicopter industry and a true multinational, present in 80 markets, with production establishments in four continents and ten thousand employees throughout the world.
The previous edition of LAAD welcomed 14 thousand professional visitors. There were 315 exhibiting companies, from 46 different countries. After the positive experience of the last edition, the ICE (Italian Trade Commission) has decided to repeat its collective participation in the 2009 show.
Italian aerospace, defence and security companies have been present in the Brazilian market for decades. It all began in the 1970’s, when the Brazilian Air Force chose the MB-326 jet training aircraft to supply its schools and operative centres, and Embraer was created for the production of the Italian training craft. Today, Embraer is one of the world’s leading aeronautical manufacturers, but its historical collaboration with Aermacchi, Alenia Aeronautica and other companies of the Finmeccanica group has never stopped.
The solid relationship between the two economies will receive fresh stimulus from the Asi-Aeb agreement, which has identified five main areas where collaboration can be developed: space science, Earth observation activity (in particular environmental monitoring, meteorology, geodetics and disaster management), telecommunications, stratospheric missions and personnel training. The collaboration could even encourage the development of joint space projects. For this reason, involvement with a country like Brazil, which is making huge investments in space due to a constantly expanding scientific and technological programme, is strategically important.
LAAD will therefore be the first testing ground for the new business opportunities that can be created for Italian companies. In fact, the purpose of the show is to facilitate international cooperation agreements between large groups, and this will also have positive outcomes for Italian subcontracting companies in the vibrant ancillary industries, and at the same time, make Brazil the privileged access for Made in Italy solutions to the entire Latin American market.
Fincantieri will not be absent among the large companies attending the show, and certainly neither will Finmeccanica, the main Italian industrial group in the high technology sector, and one of the top ten global competitors in the aerospace, defence and security industries. The Italian giant is also a European leader in the development of defence systems and boasts an important presence in satellite services. Over the years, Finmeccanica has continued to build a growing reputation for the technological excellence of its products and solutions, which has led to notable international achievements. The Italian group has become a global competitor and trusted partner in some of the most important international projects, and occupies significant positions in the two most important defence markets in the world, Great Britain and the United States.