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Chinese delegation coming to Wichita to sign aviation agreement

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, June 3, 2014, at 4:47 p.m.

A delegation from Shenyang, China, is scheduled to arrive in Wichita this week to sign an aviation agreement with the city of Wichita.

The City Council on Tuesday approved the agreement that helps streamline the process for Wichita and Kansas to provide goods and services related to the aviation industry to Shenyang.

The agreement is actually a memorandum of understanding and is not legally binding.

“It only puts into writing your intentions to work together,” said Karyn Page, CEO of Kansas Global Trade Services. “It spells out what both parties want to get out of this.”

The agreement is a partnership with KGTS, a Wichita-based office that handles international economic development for the city. KGTS manages the Wichita Aviation Office of China in Beijing for the city and has been working with Shenyang for several years, Page said.

China is already in the top five destinations of merchandising exports from Wichita and Kansas, she said.

Shenyang is a large industrial city in northeast China with a metropolitan-area population of 8.1 million people.

The memorandum establishes a connection to provide information, services and products either directly to Chinese companies or through some form of joint venture, according to a city document.

Plans call for the Wichita Aviation Office to open a liaison office in Shenyang, Page said.

Mayor Carl Brewer has made several trips to China to lay groundwork for developing aviation business opportunities.

“This memorandum is to educate our businesses and their businesses and to connect the two together,” Brewer said. “It simplifies things, so they don’t have to deal with the bureaucracy.

“If they’re interested in buying an aircraft, they can go to our partners (KGTS) and get information. The more planes we have out there, the more suppliers we have involved, the more additional jobs are created.”

Shenyang’s 14-member delegation – led by the top vice mayor of the city – will arrive Thursday and leave Friday.

The memorandum calls for the establishment of a letter of intent, which will provide more details. Brewer is expected to travel with a city delegation to Shenyang to sign that letter.

Cost of that travel is estimated to be $35,000, according to a city document.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rickplumlee.

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