Airbus to buy more parts, build base in China

BEIJING - Airbus, the world's biggest aircraft maker, plans to source more parts for its planes from China and to set up an engineering base there, the head of the company's operations in the country said. ``Procurement in China will double from US$60 million per year by 2007 to US$120 by 2010,'' Airbus China president Laurence Barron said in the southern city of Zhuhai. According to a Bloomberg report, the company also plans to set up an engineering centre in China next year, to employ about 200 engineers by 2008. Airbus, which overtook Boeing last year, last month won a 20-plane, $3.4 billion order from China Eastern Airlines Corp. Airbus is jostling to win orders in China - a market Boeing forecasts will need 2,300 aircraft, valued at US$180 billion, over the next two decades. Chinese-made parts are already used in more than half of Airbus's fleet, said Barron.

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