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7 March, 2006 - 17:52 By Staff Reporter

Stansted accelerates dialogue with China

Stansted Airport chiefs have stepped up their efforts to secure a direct link to China from the Essex hub – answering a massive need for domestic and business markets in the East of England.Stansted Airport chiefs have stepped up their efforts to secure a direct link to China from the Essex hub – answering a massive need for domestic and business markets in the East of England.

Managing director Terry Morgan has been in China for the last week for top level talks with Chinese airlines, tour operators and business leaders.

He told them that Stansted was central to the future of aviation in the UK and recognised as the gateway to the East of England’s £90 billion economy.

The Stansted mission supported the efforts of Visit Britain in raising the profile of the UK, and included summits with leading airlines, including Air China and Grand China, along with discussions with the Guangdong Airport Management Group and the British Embassy in Beijing.

The latest trip follows a fact finding visit to Stansted and the East of England last year by senior representatives from the Guangzhou Province, who learnt about the exciting business opportunities offered in the region.

The airport, Invest East and the East of England Development Agency are actively developing tourism and business links with China to establish a clear and mutually beneficial relationship.

Before flying out, Morgan said: “China has the largest potential market for both business and leisure travel with double digit growth in their economy and 150-million people who can afford to travel.

“Last year the Chinese Government relaxed travel restrictions on its citizens, which allows Chinese tourists to go through an easier process when applying for leisure visas to Britain.

“This will inevitably lead to a large increase in the number flights from China to the UK in the future.

“My visit is an important first step in building relationships that could lead to direct services operating between major cities in China and London Stansted.”

Stansted is also working to open up new routes to the Middle East, India and other regions where there is large domestic and corporate demand.

• Joint ventures between East of England and Chinese companies continue to flourish. Martis Engineering in King’s Lynn, a distributor of Air-Tec Systems’ pneumatic conveyor equipment, has signed a new JV with Chinese company, CPC.

They have forged a new manufacturing company that is called Fuzhou Air-Tec Systems Company Ltd and is located in Fuzhou city in the Fujian area.

Lester Young, who is marketing director for Martis, said: “China is a rapidly expanding market with both commercial and manufacturing capabilities.

“The export of Air-Tec’s technical expertise into this marketplace will increase the worldwide use of pneumatic conveying and that will have a knock-on effect in the UK.

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