China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corp (CATIC) is aiming to spread its wings from Africa to Asia, in efforts to earn 14.5 billion yuan (US$1.8 billion) from sales of aircraft and aviation products this year.
"This means the company's sales income will grow at least 10 percent in 2006 compared with that of last year," Huang Bin, spokesman for CATIC, said yesterday.
The company's earlier figures suggested its sales income reached 13 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) last year.
"With an aim to achieve the target, we have to seize every opportunity to sell our products," he said. "This is why we participate in the 13th Asian Aerospace Exhibition and Air Show, which opened in Singapore yesterday."
Huang noted that air shows including those in Paris and Farnborough, England are important channels for CATIC to promote its aviation products.
During the six-day event in Singapore, CATIC will display the models of the regional aircraft MA60, the fighter jet FC-1/JF-17, the Z-9 helicopter, the Y-12 aircraft, and the trainer K-8 and L-15, Huang said.
"Foreign VIPs such as the air chiefs of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, and the president and chief executive officer of Mongolian Airline will also be invited to visit our stand," he said.
Meanwhile, CATIC will hold a series of talks with companies such as Honeywell and Rockwell Collins.
The company began selling aviation products including the Y-12 aircraft 10 years ago, mainly to African countries.
Last April, CATIC delivered two MA60 regional turbo-prop aircraft to a Zimbabwean airline. That was the first time the China-made regional aircraft entered the international market.
The relationship built between African countries and China made it possible for CATIC to expand its business there, Huang said.
While exploring the African markets, CATIC will also tap the market potential in other developing areas, such as Asia, he said.
As a leading foreign trade company of China's aviation manufacturing industry, CATIC mainly engages in exports of China-made fighters, transporters, trainers, bombers and helicopters.
Those products have already been sold to more than 30 countries, Huang said. In 2004 and 2005 alone, the company sold 142 aircraft abroad.
"We have to focus on aviation to fuel our future growth because it is core business of our company," he said.
Selling aircraft was only part of CATIC's aviation business, Huang said. It also provided aviation after-sales services, jointly developed aviation products with other countries and produces parts of aircraft for foreign companies.
Besides the aviation business, CATIC was also involved in trade, commerce, finance, real estate, hotel, shopping centers and logistics.
Founded in 1979, CATIC is a 50-50 foreign trade joint venture between China Aviation Industry Corp I and China Aviation Industry Corp II. It is one of the country's top 500 State-owned companies.
(China Daily February 22, 2006)