Speaking today at the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada's annual general meeting in Montréal, Bombardier President and CEO Paul M. Tellier called upon the industry at large to support the country's endeavours in the aerospace field on the global market. "I urge all of you to join us in defending and promoting an indigenous industry whose state-of-the-art products are carrying Canada’s reputation of competence and excellence around the world," said Tellier.
"In Toronto recently, I asked a hard question: ‘Does this country think the aerospace industry is integral to our economic prosperity going forward?’ It is up to each and every one of us in this room today to ensure people hear our answer – an emphatic YES!" said Tellier.
Tellier emphasized that Canada’s economy is one of the most trade oriented in the world and that more than 40% of the country’s GDP is generated by trade. One in three Canadian jobs is directly dependent on exports. The aerospace industry is a strong driver of Canadian exports and generates more than $20 billion in revenues each year, 80% of which are attributable to exports. This industry employs 80,000 people nationwide.
Tellier pointed out that there is a storm cloud on the aerospace industry’s horizon pertaining to aircraft financing. He explained that the current rate of production for aircraft and component part manufacturers threatens to outpace the financing available to customers. Tellier emphasized that customers look to three potential sources of financing: the manufacturer, private financial interests and export credit agencies.
Tellier also dispelled some of the myths about financing by driving home several key points: export financing is offered by Export Development Canada at market rates; the loans are made to foreign purchasers of Canadian products, not to the manufacturer; within EDC, the aerospace portfolio is clearly profitable; and similar financing is available to the customers of other companies such as Boeing, Airbus and Embraer.
Tellier underscored the fact that these loans are sometimes portrayed in the media as government handouts to the aerospace industry in general and to Bombardier in particular. These programs – such as EDC financing or Technology Partnerships Canada – are characterized as entitlements at best, market distorting subsidies at worst. He then called upon members of the industry at large and on the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada to promote and defend aerospace in Canada.
"As an industry, we must set the record straight. We owe it to ourselves, our employees and the government decision-makers who must contend with public opinion."
Bombardier Inc., a diversified manufacturing and services company, is a world-leading manufacturer of business jets, regional aircraft, rail transportation equipment and motorized recreational products. It also provides financial services and asset management in business areas aligned with its core expertise. Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, the Corporation has a workforce of some 75,000 people and manufacturing facilities in 25 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2003 stood at $23.7 billion Cdn. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto, Brussels and Frankfurt stock exchanges (BBD, BOM and BBDd.F).
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