Kevin O’shea
Vice President Of International Trade
View from the Top

State-Country Partnership Fuels Industry Take-Off

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 18:09

Q: Arizona has a thriving aerospace industry. What significant gaps has ACA identified within the Mexican aerospace industry?
A: Arizona sees great opportunities to partner with the various aerospace clusters in Mexico and to fill some critical supply chain gaps, including plastic injection molding, machining, harnesses and heat treatment. With 1,200 aerospace companies, including OEMs and suppliers of all levels, and logistically just-in-time proximity to Mexico, Arizona has the capacity to fill many of these gaps effectively and efficiently. In addition, Arizona has a substantial number of AS9100 and ISO 9001 certified aerospace companies that can be of immediate assistance to the Mexican market.
Q: With over 1,200 aerospace and defense companies, what is ACA’s strategy to support these when targeting new areas of opportunity in Mexico?
A: Via various export facilitation programs, ACA is assisting Arizona aerospace companies to pursue both supply chain and final product sales opportunities in Mexico. These programs support initiatives that include participation at FAMEX, as well as at the Aerospace Summit and B2B Meetings in Queretaro. In addition, ACA brings delegations of Arizonian companies on trade missions to Mexico and facilitates pre-arranged, pre-vetted B2B matchmaking meetings with Mexican companies in the aerospace sector. Arizona’s trade office and trade team in Mexico City are key to supporting Arizonian companies and serve as the B2B and B2G matchmakers for these players in Mexico.
Q: What are the main challenges Arizonian companies face when landing in the country and how does ACA support them?
A: Mexico has a dynamic, growing and sophisticated aerospace sector. It is important for Arizonian companies to have industry-recognized certifications, such as ISO 9001 and AS9100, so they can be of immediate benefit to Mexico in filling critical supply chain gaps. ACA also provides training for companies regarding trade with Mexico and how to do business in the country. This gives them familiarity with and sensitivity to Mexico’s business culture.
Q: What initiatives is ACA developing with Mexican aerospace clusters and local governments?
A: Arizona is collaborating closely with FEMIA to match Arizona’s supply chain capabilities to critical gaps in Mexico’s supply chains. Arizonian and Mexican companies are interacting directly with each other and Arizona continues to work closely with Mexico’s aerospace cluster leadership to promote cooperation. Arizona has been collaborating with clusters in Baja California, Chihuahua, Guanajuato, Nuevo Leon, Queretaro and Sonora.
Q: What are ACA’s main achievements in the aerospace industry in recent years?
A: Under Governor Doug Ducey’s leadership, Arizona is arguably the most prominently engaged US state in Mexico and is recognized as a national model in cross-border collaboration. ACA works closely with Mexican aerospace clusters and companies and Arizona has the largest US state presence at key Mexican aerospace events including FAMEX and the Aerospace Summit in Queretaro. ACA has also led delegations of Arizonian aerospace companies to other key industry markets and trade events in Europe (including the Paris Air Show), Asia (at the Singapore Air Show), the Middle East (with the Bahrain International Air Show) and Australia (at the Avalon Air Show). On these trade missions and events, Arizona companies are securing sales channel partners for country and regional markets, as well as making direct sales with end users.
Q: What are ACA’s priorities for 2019 in terms of targeting areas of opportunity in the Mexican aerospace industry?
A: ACA will work closely with FEMIA and Mexico’s aerospace clusters to further strengthen collaboration between Arizonian and Mexican companies based on the main opportunities that we have identified in the industry. These synergies provide great opportunities for both Arizona and Mexico.


Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is an economic development organization that aims to strengthen Arizona’s economy. The state is home to 1,200 aerospace companies of all sizes, including OEMs and suppliers