FAMEX 2021: New Normal, New Strategy, New OpportunitiesBy Sofía Hanna | Mon, 07/19/2021 - 12:06
Q: Why was Queretaro chosen to host FAMEX 2021?
A: Due to the construction of Felipe Ángeles International Airport at the Santa Lucia military base, FAMEX had to change locations. At the time, several states volunteered to host the event and we had to analyze which state offered the best conditions. We chose Queretaro because it has the main aerocluster in Mexico. Queretaro is the country’s aerospace capital, it is close to Mexico City and it has the necessary infrastructure to support the event.
Q: How will FAMEX 2021 benefit the state and its aerospace industry?
A: We want to strengthen the state’s position in the national and international aerospace sectors. Queretaro is the world’s fourth-largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) for the aerospace industry. The state is already well known. We want to support the state’s efforts and help it become an even more attractive destination for the industry. Queretaro will receive economic benefits thanks to the numerous visitors the event will attract.
Q: What proposals are you developing to support the recovery of the sector and help the industry expand?
A: We continue to develop Mexico as a hub for the aerospace industry by merging the strengths of the government, academia and private companies: the triple helix. The pandemic caused a medical and economic crisis but we are working to support the industry’s recovery. This international fair will bring to the state numerous high-level actors and companies that will generate new business opportunities for local companies. FAMEX will follow strict sanitary protocols to avoid spreading COVID-19 to generate a fully positive experience for the sector.
Q: Mexico is an essential hub for aerospace development worldwide. What is FAMEX’s role in helping companies expand outside of the country?
A: FAMEX has participated in different aerospace fairs around the world, in which we concluded negotiations that benefited the sector. We attended these events alongside Mexico’s aeroclusters to increase their international prestige. By attending together, we give the clusters an opportunity to promote themselves at a lower cost than they would incur visiting these events individually. Many international events were canceled because of the pandemic, which made it harder to provide visibility to local companies. This makes aerospace events such as FAMEX more important.
Q: What strategies is FAMEX implementing to grow Mexico’s role in the international aerospace arena?
A: We manage several strategies to promote FAMEX with large companies in the international aerospace sector. We also have special guests, including air force and logistics commanders, who are potential buyers and thus very important to the aerospace industry. These special guests will lead to a fruitful environment for negotiations.
Q: Why was the US chosen as FAMEX 2021’s next guest of honor and what activities or opportunities will this create during the fair?
A: The US is Mexico’s natural partner thanks to our shared border and the USMCA. The US is also the main producer of aerospace components in the world. We are now the 12th-largest aerospace exporter globally because 80 percent of what we produce is exported to the US. For those reasons, we want to strengthen the bilateral relationship in the commercial aspect. By taking advantage of the closeness of both countries, there will be an even greater incentive for companies to reach agreements. Mexico’s Armed Forces and academia will also participate to support the exchange of knowledge and contacts.
Q: How are you working together with OEMs and other international companies to help them capitalize on the opportunities that FAMEX is offering?
A: We are inviting all companies and OEMs, mainly those established in Mexico, to participate. At the end of the day, we will link big companies with medium and small businesses so OEMs and Tier 1 companies understand that much of their supply can be sourced from Mexico.
The event will follow a strict health and safety protocol, with which we want companies to feel completely safe. We are taking hygiene and health very seriously to provide the best conditions to carry out an event.
Q: What technologies will you be using this year to create a completely different experience?
A: The event and its academic conferences will be broadcasted in real-time via streaming. The auditoriums will operate at a maximum 50 percent capacity but via streaming, we will give those who could not attend in person the opportunity to participate. At the site of the event, a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo will be available, which will attract visitors’ attention.
Q: One of FAMEX’s previous forecasts had mentioned that Mexico will enter the Top 10 of global aerospace hubs by 2025. How has this forecast changed after the pandemic?
A: Mexico currently ranks 12th in the production of aerospace components. For Mexico to reach the Top 10 by 2025, it is necessary for the country to stimulate the local aerospace industry so it is able to handle more international orders. The sector also needs to increase its commercial and economic exchange with the US. To do so, it is first necessary to identify the needs of the global industry and determine to what extent we can fulfill its demands. We have made it our responsibility to help companies become stronger and increase their capacity. Forecasts also estimate an economic recovery to pre-pandemic levels by 2025. Both forecasts complement each other.
FAMEX is a biannual event organized by the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) in collaboration with the Mexican Air Force to promote the national aerospace sector.