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Embraer plans to build executive jets in China
by Staff Writers
Sao Paulo (AFP) Aug 10, 2011

Brazil's Embraer, the world's third largest commercial aircraft manufacturer, said Wednesday it was putting final touches on plans to transform its factory in China to produce executive planes.

"We are finalizing an agreement" with Chinese group Avic International Leasing, Embraer's vice president Marco Tulio Pellegrini told reporters in Sao Paulo.

He said the company has seen an expressed interest in Brazilian executive jets.

Embraer maintains a factory in the frigid northeastern city of Harbin, where it builds its 50-seat ERJ-145 model, but it plans to convert that facility to produce the Legacy 650, with 14-seat capacity.

China has an "unmet demand (for executive jets) and now that will be met. We must seize the moment," said Pellegrini.

According to Embraer's projections, China represents a $14-billion market from now to 2020 for executive aircraft. In comparison, the Brazilian market is valued at $6 billion.

The Brazilian government is also pursuing negotiations with Chinese authorities so that Embraer can build 120-seat commercial aircraft.

Embraer anticipates a response by the end of the year, a spokesman said.

The company is the third largest aircraft manufacturer in the world after American Boeing and Europe's Airbus. In 2010, it sold 101 commercial aircraft and 145 executive jets.

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