Wat Sees Role as ‘Marketing Champion for B.C. Aerospace Industry’

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Minister of International Trade, Teresa Wat, sees her role as “the marketing champion for B.C.” as she focuses on the province’s growing $1.2 billion aerospace industry.

Two reasons to listen

Wat toured world-leading, lower mainland aerospace companies in late June, and held a roundtable the same day with industry representatives at AVCORP Industries Inc. in Delta for two reasons: to learn more about the important role they have in the B.C. economy, and to hear about what the B.C. government can do to support them.

Specifically she wanted to hear about how “our 62 international trade and investment representatives abroad can be of assistance, and how provincial funding can enhance market access and expand international trade opportunities.”

Opportunities for business

Roundtable discussions included Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits policy and the opportunities it could create for B.C. aerospace companies to increase business with international defense contractors.

Wat said the aerospace sector is primarily export-oriented, so this roundtable and tour were focused on learning about what these companies do and how the B.C. government can help them expand international relationships.

MRO, skilled workers, and $5 million to help the industry grow

“We are well known for our maintenance, repair and overhaul (skills),” she said, adding that B.C. recognizes the aerospace sector, which employs more than 10,000 skilled workers, is a key contributor to the health of the provincial economy and has committed $5 million in funding over five years to help the industry grow.

From Richmond to Langley

First stop on Wat’s tour was MTU Canada in Richmond, a major global provider of independent commercial engine services.

Vector Aerospace, world leaders in helicopter maintenance, ASCO Aerospace, and the AVCORP Industries Inc. manufacturing facility also happily opened their doors to Wat.

Final stop was in Langley to see Advance Integration Technology Canada’s 112,000 square foot facility which is a global provider of turnkey factory automation and aerospace tooling.