In a move designed to boost Kansas aircraft component exports, the Kansas World Trade Center has signed a cooperation agreement with the China Aviation Industrial Base.
The aviation industrial base is the country's attempt to build an integrated general aviation cluster in the city of Xi'an.
Chinese companies cannot yet build adequate aircraft components and needs foreign suppliers, said Karyn Page, president of the Kansas World Trade Center.
"The Chinese market is one of the biggest opportunities I've ever seen," she said.
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China's import market for aircraft parts and components is valued at more than $7 billion and grew 25 percent over past year, according to U.S. government figures cited by the center.
Of course, Page said, there are several issues confronting potential exporters.
Local exporters will have to work hard to get prices down to what is appropriate in China. But, she said, the Kansas World Trade Center can help with issues such as the possibility of technology theft and the difficulty of navigating export/import rules.
The center expects to work with the industrial base to develop a portal with a list of companies, contacts and their specific needs. Page said she expects to have that portal in six to nine months, probably through the center's website.
That will allow even small machine shops to look into exporting, she said.
"We are looking for the KWTC to be an efficient processing center, to be the bridge between the two companies making it easier and more efficient to export to China," she said.