A delegation of 34 French aviation, space, defence and security manufacturing companies are taking part in a mission to Japan from 20–22 November 2016 to boost French-Japanese cooperation. The event is a joint initiative of GIFAS, the French aerospace industries association, and its Japanese opposite number, SJAC (Society of Japanese Aerospace Companies).
Business ties between French and Japanese companies in the field of aerospace already span several decades and have resulted in long-lasting strategic and industrial partnerships, but these have been so far primarily limited to the civilian area.
With the signing of the bilateral defence pact on the co-development of defence equipment, cooperation and exchanges between France and Japan in March 2015, new opportunities have opened up for manufacturers on both sides.
The French Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGAC), the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and their Japanese counterparts, METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) and ATLA (Acquisition Technology & Logistics Agency), have given their full backing to this outward mission to forge closer ties.
The major aerospace, defence and security groups – Airbus, MBDA, Safran and Thales – will be out in force in addition to 27 subcontractors, suppliers, SMEs and original equipment manufacturers.
The mission will be led by Marwan Lahoud, Chairman of GIFAS and Executive Vice President - International, Strategy and Public Affairs of Airbus Group. The main purpose of the meetings with Japanese industry, apart from promoting the French aerospace and defence industry and the quality of equipment produced by its members, is to capitalise on France’s capabilities in the civilian and defence sectors, and foster new industrial partnerships.