Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China Ltd. (Comac) on Sunday set up its European office in Paris, the second overseas branch after its U.S. office, marking a new step for China's aviation industry in opening-up and international exchanges.
"The establishment of Comac Europe office is very significant. It represents the strategic cooperation between China and France and will deepen the two sides' collaboration in aerospace and all areas concerned," Chinese Ambassador Kong Quan said at an opening ceremony, citing Europe's influence in global aerospace industry and civil aviation market.
"Taking self-dependent innovation as the strategic cornerstone, Comac meanwhile actively conducts international cooperation and draws upon advanced technologies and experience in global civil aviation industry...," Comac President Jin Zhuanglong said.
The Chinese aerospace manufacturer has built up cooperative relationship and partnership with dozens of enterprises and institutions in many countries and regions since its establishment in May 2008 in Shanghai.
Regional jet ARJ21 and the trunkliner C919 are two flagship products of the young Chinese company.
The group is now working to achieve certification and delivery of ARJ21-700 aircraft by the end of this year, Jin said.
With regard to China's C919 trunkliner program, Jin said COMAC has signed cooperation agreements with 17 international companies in the United States and Europe, and has actively explored collaboration with GECAS, British Airways and Ryanair.
"In the context that the world economy is on recovery from the financial crisis, the civil aviation industry is facing great challenge. We are willing to keep close contact with all relevant public administrations and forge friendly relations and cooperation with overseas suppliers to contribute to the development of world civil aviation industry," Jin said.
For the French State Secretary for Transport Thierry Marianne, who also attended the opening ceremony, the Chinese aviation market has great potential in the years to come, and China is estimated to need 3,000 new planes.
"We have understood that China had decided to build its own aerospace industry. It is a legitimate choice," Marianne said.
A demo mock-up of the full-scale forward fuselage of C919 will be displayed during the 49th Paris Air Show on June 20-26, which will be the first time that the 1:1 demo mock-up is to be showcased at an international stage outside China, Jin told Xinhua.
During the air show, Comac is going to sign agreements with an international airline and an airborne-system supplier and carry out a series of activities concerning international cooperation and exchanges, according to the group.