The development of aerospace clusters in Mexico
Javier Martínez Romero
No 2010-03, Globelics Working Paper Series from Globelics - Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems, Aalborg University, Department of Business and Management
Introduction: High technology companies tend to cluster around knowledge-producing institutions (Braunerhjelm and Feldman, 2006). Aerospace follows this pattern, and there are well known examples of aerospace clusters located around large prime contracting aerospace producers (Niosi and Zhegu, 2005). A recent trend that is taking momentum is the setting up of manufacturing facilities by leading aerospace companies in Mexico. Objectives: The objective of this study is to investigate the attracting factors of Mexican clusters and to examine some of the country policy measures to incentive the aerospace sector, in order to assess the potential of Mexico to be a relevant part in this world-class high technology industry. Methods: A survey applied to selected aerospace firms in Mexico and interviews with regional governments are the information source. Results: Agglomeration forces in Mexican aerospace clusters are strongly related with manufacturing advantages. In addition, policy measures seem insufficient to encourage firms to undertake more complex activities. Conclusions: Even though advantages not related with innovation may explain the presence of firms in Mexico's aerospace clusters, these advantages should not be minimized given the tough quality standards of the aerospace industry, and if properly managed they may form the base for future development.
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