Briefing Paper

Project: International Economics Department

Steven McGuire
  • Asia's economic growth will exert a significant 'pull' effect in terms of manufacturing location for the aerospace industry and more Western firms will partner with Chinese firms, in particular.
  • China has specific advantages not enjoyed by other challenger states, notably its large domestic aircraft market and exceptionally large pool of labour.
  • Aerospace is different from other manufacturing sectors where latecomer strategies have been employed – and suggestions that Western producers will be supplanted may be misguided. Technological interdependence is increasing, making it more difficult for states to pursue autarkic technology policies.
  • Aerospace is very reliant on other sectors for key technologies, and few emerging states show signs of having significant capabilities across a range of supporting sectors. Challenger states are thus using elements of national champion strategies while at the same time engaging in collaborative ventures with Western suppliers.
  • These trends suggest that incumbent producers will continue to enjoy significant competitive advantages for some time.