Wed, Sep 23, 2015 - Page 15 News List

Boeing factory plans submitted to Beijing: report

AFP, SHANGHAI

A Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd Boeing Co 747-8 freighter with an open nose door sits on the tarmac at Chek Lap Kok Airport in Hong Kong on Dec. 9, 2011.

Photo: Bloomberg

Plans for a Boeing Co factory in China have been submitted to the government in Beijing, state-run media reported yesterday ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) visit to the US, where he was to tour one of the firm’s plants.

A Boeing factory in China would represent an about-turn in the US giant’s strategy in the crucial market, where European rival Airbus SAS has a final assembly operation for medium-range Airbus A320 aircraft in the northern port of Tianjin, and plans to open a new completion and delivery center for long-haul A330 airplanes.

A plan for the Boeing plant in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, has been submitted to China’s State Council, the Shanghai Securities News reported.

The newspaper, which is run by the official Xinhua news agency, gave few details — including who had put the proposal forward — but said an update could be expected as early as this week.

Xi was scheduled to visit Boeing’s main airplane factory in Washington state yesterday, two days before he meets US President Barack Obama at the White House.

The factory would be the centerpiece of a new aerospace industrial zone in Zhoushan, it added.

China is expected to add 6,330 new aircraft worth US$950 billion to its commercial fleet by 2034, Boeing said last month in its annual Current Market Outlook.

Bloomberg News said earlier this month that Boeing was exploring whether to open a factory in China to perform tasks such as painting its top-selling 737 jetliners, which would be its first such facility outside the US.

Boeing could not be reached immediately for comment.

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