CHINA> Hu Visits Five Countries
Boeing to grow with China's aviation industry
Updated: 2006-04-17 15:11

SEATTLE, the United States -- The outlook of China's aviation industry is good and the Boeing company would like to grow with China's aviation industry, Robert Laird, vice president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes for China Sales has said.

In an interview with Xinhua, Laird said Boeing company would be honored to welcome Chinese President Hu Jintao to visit its headquarters during his upcoming visit to the United States,

President Hu would be the third Chinese leader to visit Boeing after former Chinese leaders Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, and his visit would be "a reflection of a long relationship which Boeing has had with China, the Chinese airlines, and the Chinese people and government," Laird said.

"I think the visits are a reflection of the fact that Boeing has worked very closely with the Chinese government on trade issues and on the development of aviation infrastructure, so we are honored to have President Hu Jintao to visit us," the vice president noted.

He hoped the visits could become a tradition among the Chinese leadership.

Historically, Boeing has worked with China for 34 years, and not just to do with selling airplanes, Laird said. "This relationship has been with the entire aviation infrastructure, which includes the regulatory agencies, safety, capacity, the industry suppliers and partners, parts and manufacturing, as well for the purchasing of our final products."

Boeing's objective was to help China's aviation industry which has a huge potential to grow, and to grow with it, the vice president said.

According to Boeing's forecasts, China's civil aviation market would need over 2,600 new airplanes over the next 20 years, expanding China's aviation fleet to over 3,200 units by the year 2024, thus becoming the world's second largest civil aviation market next to the United States. It was no wonder Boeing had active plans to expand its business and cooperation in China, Laird noted.

With annual sales on average of 4 billion U.S. dollars to China, Boeing had its best year in 2005 selling 120 airplanes to Chinese airlines, he said.

"As we look at China as a market, we are expanding what we are doing as well as our presence. Boeing was expecting to open a repair- maintenance-overhaul-modification center in Shanghai at Pudong airport. Boeing is looking at the opportunity to expand its engineering and technical presence in China", Laird said.

Currently Boeing was working with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to expand the capacity of the air transport system in the country and it was also doing a lot of training, Laird added.

He said that what Boeing had done over the years in China had helped the company establish its credibility and enabled it to work very closely with the airlines and the government.

He believed Boeing's dealings in China would continue to expand, and the company would continue to find more opportunities in the manufacturing, capacity and airlines sectors.

As a responsible and large enterprise, Boeing cooperated with the Chinese government not only in the aviation industry, but also in general trade issues, Laird said.

Being recognized as an industry leader in supporting a strong and robust U.S.-China bilateral trade relationship, Boeing successfully promoted U.S. approval of China's accession to the World Trade Organization, and it took a leadership role in pushing for the U.S. congressional approval of the Permanent Normalized Trade Relations with China, he said.

Boeing would remain committed to demonstrating the value of bilateral trade with China and advocating its continued growth, he added.

The Boeing executive stressed that his company saw China as a very strong and growing market, and the company was not doing things in China for net sales, but for the long term.

"The Chinese have a very long term perspective of life, of business, and Boeing is trying to have the same perspective of our business relationship in China," he said.