Boeing Sees $10 Billion Aero Deals in Latin America

Latin American countries other than Brazil could order more than $10 billion worth of space and defense products in the next few years, according to a Boeing Co. executive for the region.

Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru are key markets that will drive that demand, Roberto Valla, vice president of international business development for the Americas at Boeing’s defense, space and security unit, said in an interview in Ottawa today. “Those are not the only countries where we see opportunities, but we do see at least in the near term, probably the greatest needs in those four customer communities.”

Asked how much in potential sales the four Latin American countries could represent, Valla said “several billions of dollars. You can interpret that as being more than 10 and less than 100.”

Military expenditure in the Caribbean and Central and South America totaled about $75 billion in 2012, up from about $61 billion in 2007, according to data compiled by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The growing market is an opportunity for Boeing which is looking to bolster defense sales outside the U.S. to counter reduced spending levels at the Pentagon under forced budget cuts known as sequestration.

Chicago-based Boeing got about $32.6 billion of revenue from its defense, space and security business last year. That’s about 40 percent of the company’s global sales of $81.7 billion.

Possible Latin America deals for Boeing include satellite sales in Mexico, Valla said without being more specific. Aircraft such as Chinook helicopters could also buoy Boeing’s sales in Latin America, Valla said.

The planemaker also sees possible defense orders in Canada, Valla said today. Boeing could team up with Textron Inc.’s Bell Helicopter unit to bid on a search-and-rescue equipment order that the Canadian government plans to place, he said.

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