The internationalisation of the French aerospace industry in the 1990s: a break with the past? (In French)
The 1990s are often described as the decade when the aerospace industry broke with the past. The drop in military orders that occurred early in the decade, the adoption in both the defence and civil markets of more competitive modes of regulation, the arrival at maturity of several big civil programmes and a host of privatisations - all had a durable impact on the aerospace industry in France. A general consensus exists about these changes, but few empirical studies have actually tried to measure the extent of their impact on the sector. To make up for this, we have carried out a statistical study of the structural transformations befalling the aerospace industry through the analysis of one specific problem: firms’ internationalisation. We have used four databases, including for the first time the EEIG survey of intra-firm trade, to assess whether French firms did in fact deeply modify their internationalisation behaviour over the period 1993-1999. We come to mixed conclusions, the suggestion being that what the sector experienced was more of an evolution than a major upheaval. Although certain components of firms’ internationalisation trajectories were clearly altered (like the French State’s presence in the sector or sales internationalisation), others evolved much more slowly (like foreign companies’ penetration in France and French companies’ productive internationalisation). Summarily, we can say that productive internationalisation remained modest in comparison with sales internationalisation.
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