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Sino-German Cooperation Aim at Long-term, Win-win Results

The cooperation between governments of China and Germany and between businesses of the two countries will never seek temporary or short-term benefits, but aim at long-term and win-win results, visiting German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Monday.

The chancellor made the remarks while visiting the China-Germany joint venture of Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Co., Beijing (Ameco Beijing), the first stop immediately after he arrived in Beijing afternoon.

Schroeder came here for a three-day working visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

He cited Ameco as a successful example of cooperation between businesses of China and Germany. "How should the cooperation be carried out between the two countries, Ameco can tell us," Schroeder told dozens of reporters both from China and overseas in Ameco's huge hangar with a capacity to accommodate four Boeing 747 aircraft that began operation in 1996.

Located at the Beijing Capital International Airport and succeeding the old Beijing Aircraft Maintenance Base of Air China, Ameco was established on Aug. 1, 1989 with Air China holding 60 percent and Lufthansa 40 percent of the registered capital.

Ameco engages in maintenance, repair and overhaul services for airframe, engines and components of commercial aircraft. Line maintenance services cover nearly all Boeing and Airbus aircraft models. The company also offers aircraft painting services, engineering services and technical training.

Yang Yuanyuan, director of China's General Administration of Civil Aviation, spoke positively of Ameco's outstanding performance over the past decade and a half.

"It has not only offered excellent services for Chinese airliners, but also successfully opened up the international market by drawing many foreign clients," he said. "Ameco has become an important member in the world aviation maintenance market."

During the past 15 years, Ameco has completed over 900 heavy checks, painted 130 aircraft, repaired and overhauled 2,200 engines and serviced more than 230,000 components. Ameco's has reported profits over the past 15 straight years with a total revenue of more than 12 billion yuan (US$1.45 billion).

In 2004, Ameco has further deepened the relations with its domestic and international customers. On Sept. 29, Ameco closed a deal with Air Atlanta Icelandic on another 12ea B747 heavy maintenance checks. At November's China Zhuhai Air Show, Ameco signed the hundredth RB211 engine overhaul agreement since 1993, and signed contract with Shanghai Airlines for 4CS/4C check of Boeing 767-300.

"Ameco has become a model of business cooperation between China and Germany," Yang told Schroeder. "It demonstrates that we have made a correct decision 15 years ago."

The first term of the joint venture has expired on July 31, 2004. In August this year, Air China and Lufthansa renewed their contract, kicking off the second term of the joint venture that lasts from Aug. 1, 2004 to July 31, 2029 with a registered capital of US$187 million.

Schroeder said, "As one of the earliest businesses that have been founded to carry out China-Germany cooperation, Ameco remains young and energetic. It is not an accidental case for the two countries to renew the contract."

"China is witnessing a growing aviation industry and it will offer great opportunities for Ameco, I believe," he said.

Yang said Ameco's successful operation proved the efficient cooperation between China and Germany in investment and technical introduction.

Statistics from China's Ministry of Commerce, Germany has become China's biggest European investor over past three years, involving a total of 3,994 joint-venture projects with a total investment of US$9.79 billion, and their focuses are placed on major projects with big output and high-technology.

Apparently, the Germany chancellor was full of confidence over Ameco's future and the prospect of China-Germany cooperation.

"When Ameco renews its contract next time, we both should be present," Schroeder made a proposal to Yang at the close of his Ameco visit.

(Xinhua News Agency December 7, 2004)

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