New Hampshire officials hoping to make the Seacoast region a hub for composites manufacturing made their pitch Monday to aerospace and defense manufacturers in Canada.
Gov. Maggie Hassan joined the mayors of Portsmouth, Dover, Rochester and Somersworth at the Pease International Tradeport on Monday to sign letters to manufacturers in greater Montreal, where 95 percent of Quebec’s aerospace activity is concentrated.
The state, along with the four cities and the tradeport, are working together to develop the region as a composites manufacturing center. They hope to attract Canadian manufacturers and suppliers to expand here.
Representatives from the Canadian consulate in Boston also attended, along with officials from Albany International, which makes airplane engine blades in Rochester.
“The Seacoast Aerospace Initiative is an important partnership between the state, municipalities, the education community, the Pease Development Authority and our neighbors to the North that will help strengthen the Seacoast’s position as a leader in aerospace and defense,” Hassan said in a prepared statement.
There are some 300 aerospace and defense companies in New Hampshire, making them among the state’s fastest growing industries.
“It just makes sense to look over the border at our nearest international neighbor and see how we can help each other out,” said Lorna Colquhoun, communications director for the state Division of Economic Development.
New Hampshire has eyed Canadian businesses before. In 2012, a contingent of North Country business owners traveled north to recruit Canadian manufacturers in a trip that gathered more than 100 Canadian manufacturers.
Canada, with its long southern border, is a top export destination for New England. Some of the leading exports to Canada from New England are aircraft engines and parts, electronic tubes and semi-conductors, computers and wood materials. Top imports from Canada to the region include aircraft, electronic generators and motors, petroleum and coal products and natural gas and electricity.
Pease, the former Pease Air Force Base that closed in 1991, serves as a business and aviation industrial park whose offerings include office and industrial space, the tradeport, the Portsmouth International Airport and a 27-hole golf course.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense