The staggering economic growth and seismic demographic shift could see Asia become an aerospace manufacturing and engineering hub in the world in the near future, says Alastair Swift, Global Head of Transportation for Willis Group holdings, a leading risk adviser, insurance and reinsurance broker.
According to the article on the Wall Street Journal, Mr Swift is on the opinion that Asia’s incredible improvement in living standards in recent years could greatly impact the aerospace industry.
Speaking at Willis’s Aerospace Conference in Singapore on Wednesday, Swift highlighted that he wouldn’t be surprised to see Asia realise its ambitions and become an aerospace manufacturing and engineering platform for the world.
“The industry’s push into Asia might have started off slowly compared to other sectors, such as consumer electronics and manufacturing, but demand today for aircraft in the region is surging,” he continued.
“We also expect to see Asian aerospace companies vying for ownership of US and European counterparts — just like we’ve seen in other sectors. While much depends on Asia’s ability to harness strong regional capabilities there’s every chance that Asia could become the preferred manufacturing location for aircraft and components in the not too distant future.”
Large global aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus have projected that over a third of worldwide aircraft deliveries will go to Asia in the next two decades, and it is also expected that Asia’s Pacific fleet will triple to about 13,500 aircraft by 2031.
“We also expect to see Asian aerospace companies vying for ownership of US and European counterparts — just like we’ve seen in other sectors,” added Swift.
“While much depends on Asia’s ability to harness strong regional capabilities there’s every chance that Asia could become the preferred manufacturing location for aircraft and components in the not too distant future.”
Mr Swift also noted that there were some factors that could get in the way of Asia’s claim to air manufacturing dominance in the world. He listed companies’ susceptibility to cyber-attacks, the reputational threat posed by social media, Asia’s vulnerability to natural catastrophes, the battle for human talent and public health issues- such as avian flu and air pollution- as some of the biggest risks faced by companies operating in the Asia-Pacific region.
However, Mr Swift feels that the positives will outweigh the negatives and there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
“Asia is booming, its people are industrious and governments are, for the most part, well organised, responsive and well equipped to manage the issues associated with fast growing economies. A key factor for the success of the aerospace industry in Asia will be the ability of aerospace companies to build dynamic approaches to risk management.”