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Germans eye role in Guangzhou Baiyun airport
Latest Updated by 2007-03-23 09:47:27

The operators of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, a national air hub, are in partnership talks with a German firm as they gear up to attract more foreign investment for the airport's second-phase expansion.

Liu Zijing, president of the Guangdong Airport Management Group Co Ltd, said the group had held talks with the Frankfurt-based Fraport AG, an airport owner and operator. The two sides have agreed to cooperate.

Details on how the two sides will work together are subject to further negotiation, he added.

Liu said Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport was looking for capital inputs for the airport's second phase, which was initiated last year. The airport is also looking forward to introducing the advanced management ideas and mechanisms that a foreign partner will provide to improve its management level and sharpen its competitive edge.

The second phase of the airport project entails investment of 17.5 billion yuan ($2.16 billion).

Set to go into operation in 2010, the airport's second phase will include eight projects, including the construction of a runway capable of accommodating the massive A380, aprons, cargo terminals and a hub for FedEx.

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport began eyeing foreign investors as early as 2001, and the State's decision to allow the local government to take over the management of the airport made it feasible for the airport to seek out foreign partners.

The government handed over management responsibilities to Guangdong's provincial government in 2004.

Since then, several overseas airport operators, including companies based in France, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as the Germany-based Lufthansa Airlines, have reportedly approached officials at Guangzhou airport for talks on possible partnerships.

Li Huiwu, deputy director of Guangdong Development Research Center, said the State had put in place policies to encourage foreign investors to participate in the civil aviation sector, and that Guangzhou airport had a chance to forge ties with foreign investors.

"No matter who the foreign investors are, I think, Guangzhou airport will hold a dominant stake of more than 50 percent," the deputy director said.

Earlier this year, the Airport Authority of Hong Kong reached an agreement with the debt-ridden Zhuhai Airport to take over management for a period 20 years.

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China Daily Website
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