AVIC signs agreement to deliver eight aircraft to African nation

By Bao Chang (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-05 07:46
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AVIC signs agreement to deliver eight aircraft to African nation

A model of a Modern Ark 60 is displayed at an aviation show in Zhuhai, Guangdong province. Jiang Xin / for China Daily

BEIJING - AVIC (Aviation Industry of China) International Holding Corp, an import and export subsidiary of China Aviation Industry Corp, said it has signed an agreement to deliver eight aircraft to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The aircraft, which will be delivered to LAC, the DRC's national airline, are six Modern Ark 60 (MA60) and two Y-12 light aircraft.

The MA60, produced by AVIC's subsidiary, Xi'an Aircraft Industry (Group) Company Ltd, costs between $14 and $15 million on the international market, two-thirds the price of civil airplanes produced by other global manufacturers.

The deal between AVIC and LAC, involving products, after-sales and equipment services, is believed to be worth more than $150 million.

The first two MA60s will be delivered to the DRC on June 20, 2011, and the remainder will be sent in three further batches, AVIC said.

Export-Import Bank of China will provide financial support to AVIC's project, the statement said.

China has in recent years been stepping up exports of civil and defense aircraft. In July, AVIC signed a contract with Venezuela to sell 25 multi-purpose Y-12 light aircraft and two helicopters.

AVIC said it has exported more than 100 Y-12 aircraft to 20 nations since 1986. Last year, the company exported 42 fighter aircraft to Pakistan. Industry analysts said Chinese aircraft companies are exploring new markets such as Egypt.

At present, Chinese trade with African countries is growing at a fast pace, outperforming that of China's major trade partners, including the United States and the European Union. China is currently Africa's largest trade partner.

From January to September this year, China-South Africa trade grew 50.6 percent year-on-year to $17.28 billion, compared with 31.5 percent for trade with the US and 34.4 percent for trade with the EU.

The African Development Bank predicted the continent's economy will grow 4.5 percent this year and 5.2 percent in 2011. Some African nations have far exceeded this rate, with economic growth this year in the DRC expected to rise 12 percent and by 10 percent in Angola.

China Daily