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Airshow China helps business soar in Zhuhai

By Owen Fishwick

Updated: 2016-12-09


Pretty fly: Britain’s Royal Air Force aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, performs at the 11th Airshow China in Zhuhai CREDIT: FENG YONGBING / CHINA DAILY

Airshow China has provided a massive boost to business in Zhuhai and continues to showcase pioneering developments in aviation.

When Zhuhai in Guangdong province became the home ofChina’s biggest airshow 20 years ago, it could not have realised that huge changes in its industrial and economic landscape would follow.

In 1996, the first Airshow China featured the burgeoning signs of a domestic aviation and aerospace industry, which would skyrocket the city to success.

Thanks in part to the global exposure of the air show, Zhuhai has been able to secure international and domestic investment to develop its high-end manufacturing industries. By last year, this had led to more than 50 Fortune 500 companies settling in the city. It has also led to local GDP of more than 200 billion yuan (£23.8 billion).

At this year’s show, Zhuhai Aviation Industry Park signed 18 projects on the first day alone, worth a total of 5.28 billion yuan. The deals covered aircraft manufacturing, components, unmanned aerial vehicles and general aviation operations. A spokesperson for the park attributed its success to the government incentives for businesses to invest there.

China has now become a major global player in the aviation industry

“Zhuhai is being built as the core city on the western bank of the Pearl River,” the spokesperson said. “As the only industrial park for the development of the aviation industry in Guangdong, the park is seizing every opportunity for development it can.”

Pictures of the first public flight of the China-made stealth fighter, the J-20, were beamed across the globe from Zhuhai on 1 November. The 60-second display came only a day after Tan Ruisong, general manager at the Aviation Industry Corporation of China, which manufactured the J-20, spoke of Chinese aviation “leapfrogging forward” over the past 20 years.

“By focusing on innovation and technological breakthroughs, China has become one of the few countries to systematically develop advanced aeronautics and aviation across a wide spectrum,” said Mr Tan.

This advanced development can be seen on the balance sheet of this year’s Airshow China. More than 400 deals, agreements and contracts were signed over the course of the week, totalling $40 billion (£32 billion), a record 40 per cent increase on the previous show, held in 2014.


Lean, mean, fighting machine: a J-20 stealth fighter jet at the airshow CREDIT: FENG YONGBING / CHINA DAILY

The expanded exhibition halls were abuzz with activity, as business and commercial leaders, military personnel and more than 400,000 spectators inspected the latest in aviation and aerospace technology. Some 700 exhibitors and 151 aircraft from 42 countries and regions were on display, as well as military equipment, engines and landing gear systems.

On the exhibition floor, United Technology Corp’s Pratt & Whitney division, the American manufacturer of turbofan engines, sold 51 of its V2500 units. James Speich, senior marketing manager at the company, spoke of its success in China. “There has been a tremendous increase in wealth and a boom in the middle class in China, which means more and more people are flying.

“We’ve been coming to Zhuhai for the past 10 years, and it’s a great place to do business.”

Daniel Riedel, of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, spoke of how much the Zhuhai airshow and China’s influence in aviation have grown over the past few years.

“The scale and speed of development are very impressive,” he said. “China has now become a major global player in the aviation industry, and it is no more obvious than here in Zhuhai.”

Click here to read the original article on The Telegraph


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