China agrees $10 billion Airbus deal

China has agreed a $10 billion deal with the European airplane manufacturer Airbus for 150 mid-size A320 planes, with the aircraft to be assembled in China itself.

    Chinese and French leaders finalised the deal on Thursday

    Thursday's Airbus sale was among a series of business deals signed as the French president, Jacques Chirac, began a state visit to China.

    The order would be worth over $10 billion at list prices, but such large purchases usually receive deep discounts.

    The final assembly line, in the eastern Chinese city of Tianjin, is Airbus' first outside Europe and was approved by Beijing in June.

    "With a big country like China, if you want to be present (commercially), you also need to be present industrially," said Louis Gallois, the Airbus chief executive.

    China, which often maintains a balance between rivals Airbus and Boeing, bought 150 Boeing jets during a visit by the US President, George Bush, in November 2005, and another 150 from Airbus a month later.

    Airbus, however, hopes to steal a march on its rival on the fast-growing Chinese market by investing in local assembly, even as it faces restructuring at home due to delays to the A380 superjumbo.

    China also signed a letter of intent to purchase 20 of Airbus's planned larger A350, which is still on the drawing board, although a final decision is to be made later.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel.