With the help of Sen. Richard Blumenthal, nine Connecticut manufacturers secured opportunities to bid on multimillion-dollar contracts with Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer based in France, and its top tier suppliers.
Blumenthal accompanied the group on the trade mission to Toulouse, France, to help introduce company representatives with top Airbus and Goodrich Aerostructures officials and to discuss possible exporting opportunities.
“We’re a state that has no coal mines or oil wells,” Blumenthal said. “We don’t have any natural resources but what we do have in great supply are talented, smart people with strong skills. And the more we can sell abroard, the more we will employ those people in manufacturing.”
Together, the businesses employ nearly 6,000 people in Connecticut and are comprised of AdChem Manufacturing Technologies, AeroCision, Alpha Q Inc., Capewell Components, Jonal Laboratories, Microtech, Pegasus Manufacturing and SPX Precision.
The mission was Blumenthal’s first trip abroad as a senator but a continuation of his efforts to help increase exports from Connecticut businesses. Blumenthal said the trip was also meant as a show of support for President Barack Obama’s National Export Initiative, which seeks to double exports from 2010 to 2015.
In the past, Connecticut firms have partnered with the state’s elected officials to promote business partnerships with foreign companies, including a September 2012 trip by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China.
“Anytime you bring a senior government official with you on this kind of trade mission it elevates the companies’ stature,” said Ann Evans, district director of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Middletown. “It’s placing them in front of the right buyers, like bringing them through the VIP line.”
In 2011, the most recent year for which data is available, Connecticut businesses exported $16.2 billion in goods and services, according to the Department of Commerce.
“We’re trying to get them ahead of everyone else,” Evans added. “Not just Michigan, but Germany and Japan.”
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