By Adina Moloman
Mexico is already having a highly competitive and fast growing aerospace industry, mostly because it receives a large amount of foreign direct investment in aerospace industry but so far Mexico has not developed its own technology.
At the beginning at this year, 2012, Mexico joined the Wassenaar Arrangement on export controls for conventional arms and dual use goods and technologies, being helpful for Mexico Customs Regulation to establish an efficient regulatory framework for exports controls and documentation for defense and aerospace products manufactured in Mexico.
By joining this agreement, the Mexico Maquiladora Industry is attracting a more sophisticated military technology and investment.
This is part of the federal and state governments’ strategies to attract a more advanced and complex industry and create a chain of local suppliers and take its own first steps of developing its own technology.
An important step of accomplishing its goal is the initiative, known as Programa Cuervo, with the participation of Nafin, Bancomext (the Mexican Foreign Trade Bank) and the Ministry of the Economy, forming consortiums of Mexican investors to acquire aerospace companies from Europe, basically those that are facing financial trouble and little access to credit. Other than acquisition the co-investments is also an option.
Another ambitious program is called “Proaereo Program” a ProMexico initiative where by 2020 more than half of the aerospace companies established in Mexico should be Mexican companies, most of them small and medium local suppliers.
The advantages for Mexico of creating such programs are the following: access to technology in order to start developing its own technology, access to customer portfolios (clients) and access to certification by European authorities.
Mexican investors are already doing their homework by announcing an investment of US$14 million to purchase 35% of the Italian company Villella Aerospace and open a subsidiary in Mexico, controlling 75% of such subsidiary.
Technical training will be provided in Italy to Mexican engineering in order to transfer important operations into Mexico such as: design, high precision welding, chemical baths and several assemblies. The plant construction in Mexico will start in the second half of next year and its location has not been revealed yet.