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Premier Wen to visit Airbus for part contracts
Updated: 2005-11-30 15:17

China's Premier Wen Jiabao will urge Airbus SAS to give more parts contracts to Chinese manufacturers when he visits the head office of the world's largest maker of commercial planes next week, said a foreign ministry spokesman.

Wen will visit Airbus' office in Toulouse, France with up to 100 people including Chinese airline executives, part of his four-nation European tour, said Zhao Jun, Director-General of European Affairs of the Chinese foreign ministry.

``China will definitely be buying more planes including from Airbus in future, if not'' during Wen's visit, he said at a press briefing today in Beijing, declining to say if China's state- owned aircraft buying agency will sign a purchase order next week.

Airbus, which will be surpassed by Boeing Co. for the first time in five years in 2005 aircraft orders, is looking to China for growth, while carriers in North America and Europe struggle with slumping profits. Chinese airlines may buy 2,293 planes valued at $183 billion in the next 20 years, as annual growth in passenger traffic is set to beat the global average of 5.2 percent, according to government estimates.

Wen will visit France, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Portugal from Dec. 4 through 10, according to the Chinese foreign ministry. The premier will attend a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, in Kuala Lumpur starting on Dec. 11, returning to China on Dec. 15, according to his schedule.

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