Budget 2015: Boosting the UK’s Pitch to the East

Yesterday’s announcement of a doubling of funding for 2015/16 UKTI activities in China in the Chancellor’s 2015 Budget, will offer a major boost to UK’s Aerospace companies looking to grow their business in and pitch their capabilities to China.

The UK’s Aerospace industry exported around £530m to China in 2013 – with aircraft engines and parts, composite structures and components and even cabin lighting systems, showcasing the diverse range of capabilities of UK industry.

However, China’s market continues to grow, and the UK must ensure it is able to take advantage of the various opportunities in the Chinese market over the next 10-20 years. By 2033, China is set to take delivery of around 6,000 new aircraft – worth up to £500bn. Business opportunities for companies may include:

  • Export opportunities for suppliers for new Chinese designed and manufactured aircraft – with the C919 Single Aisle aircraft, and a new China-Russia widebody aircraft in the 2020s.
  • Export opportunities to new Western-Chinese joint ventures set up to help build up China’s Aerospace industry.
  • Engineering opportunities as China invests heavily in R&D and innovation to be globally competitive.
  • Opportunities for cooperation on air traffic management technology improvements required to modernise China’s airspace capacity management.
  • Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) opportunities for parts suppliers, as air travel demand increases.

Whilst yesterday’s announcement will help companies find the resources to travel to China, understand in greater detail the complexities or the market and take up opportunities where they arise – its is the long term commitment to Industrial Strategy which will also help ensure the UK takes a strategic approach to winning and competing with China over the next decade.

In ADS’ recent report, “The China Challenge”, we discuss the issues and challenges of the Chinese market and the development of its domestic Aerospace industry, and outline why Industrial Strategy is a integral to building on the UK’s capabilities and value proposition post-2020.

Alongside this, ADS’ Invest in Growth manifesto calls on the next UK government to build on the successful work of industrial strategies – which are vital in order to innovation in the supply chain, invest in high tech skills, and boost the UK’s export opportunities.