Canadian deal will give boost to Chinese aircraft ambitions

Updated: 2013-08-16 11:58

By Eddy Lok in Toronto (China Daily)

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 Canadian deal will give boost to Chinese aircraft ambitions

Guests and executive teams toast at the inauguration ceremony of AVICAST Inc, a joint venture between AVIC International Zhuhai Co Ltd and AGARO Ltd on Monday in Toronto. From left: Rod Jones, executive director of Ontario Aerospace Council; Fang Li, consul general of China in Toronto; Wang Zhilai, president of AVIC International Zhuhai; Anthony Habra, partner of AGARO; Gavin Rao, CEO of AVICAST; Ken Laver, former president of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada. Li Na / China Daily

The Chinese aerospace industry has been given a leg-up with the establishment of a joint venture between AVIC International Zhuhai and Canada-based Agaro Ltd, a consulting firm that specializes in building operational and financial workflows and technical solutions in the aerospace industry.

The partnership, dubbed AVICAST Inc (Aviation Industry Canada of Applied Science and Technology), is being described as a new platform to bridge the aerospace industries of China and Canada.

AVICAST executives said at the launch that the arrangement would foster collaboration and knowledge exchange between Canada and China and undertake engineering applications for civil and general aviation aircraft.

The partnership would also help reduce aircraft production and maintenance costs, improve quality and reliability and make consulting services available to civil and general aircraft manufacturers, they said.

Zhilai Wang, president of AVIC International Zhuhai, said at the partnership's launch in Toronto on Aug 12 that every two years, the Zhuhai China air show provides valuable opportunities for AVIC Zhuhai to get together with members of the aerospace industry from all over the world.

With China general aviation up and coming, Zhuhai is becoming one of the most important production bases for aircraft manufacturing, Wang said.

The joint venture comes amid growing demand for Chinese civil aircraft manufacturing capabilities and recognition of Canada's advanced world-class aerospace technology and expertise.

According to its new development strategies, the prime goal of AVIC Zhuhai is to become an integrated supplier of aerospace logistics support and materials to service aircraft production in China and the Asia-Pacific region.

"This is to meet the demand for China civil aircraft manufacturing, led by aerospace technology services and centered with integrated supply-chain management for aerospace accessories and components," Wang said.

Rod Jones, executive director of the Ontario Aerospace Council, told China Daily at the launch that the more valuable opportunity is on the market side and Canadian aerospace companies should increasingly partner with Chinese companies in pursuit of this opportunity.

"It is the market growth that we need to pay attention to," Jones said. "Ontario is a major center for many Canadian aerospace companies and if we focus on the areas we have expertise in, our companies can be active players in the Chinese supply chain."

Jones said that local Ontario companies' main strength was in the area of landing gear and that one third of the world's landing gear was manufactured there.

"We are working with partners in the Ontario government to address more of that substantial Chinese market and I think many companies see China as a low cost supply opportunity as well," Jones said.

He conceded that historically people had looked at China as a source of low-cost components, but now Canadian companies are seeing growth and market opportunities in the aerospace industry in China.

For China Daily

(China Daily USA 08/16/2013 page10)