Wichita-China trade deal excites economy

WICHITA, Kan. — Recent progress promising expanding exports during a trade trip to China is good news for Wichita – it’s especially good news for the city’s general aviation suppliers, who have long been a backbone of the local economy.

This was Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer’s fifth trip to China, along with Vice-Mayor Jeff Blubaugh and representatives from local aviation companies. They reported a deal that will open two Wichita aviation liaison offices in China. Additionally, memorandums of understanding were signed to bolster trade with Wichita.

Expanded trade represents a great opportunity for the largest city in Kansas, as China is in the process of building its own infrastructure to expand into the general aviation market. China built 87 new airports recently, and is working on constructing large industrial parks centered on general aviation.

The City of Wichita is in the top 5 percent of U.S. exporters, and growing its exports – which does not involve incentives, industrial revenue bonds or tax exemptions – will be a shot in the arm for the local economy. China is interested in aircraft deliveries, joint ventures with suppliers and training.

The deal is a long-term investment for Wichita and its 3,500 aviation suppliers. China currently has less than 1,000 general aviation airplanes, but they plan to grow that fleet to 10,000 in the next few years.

The trade deal could also lead to an increase in tourism, with the Chinese especially drawn to Kansas’ opportunities for shooting, hunting, gambling or exploring the state’s wide open spaces.

Source: The Wichita Eagle

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