NLR was part of a Dutch trade mission to China on 15 and 16 November 2013. Various major companies joined the trade mission, including Philips and Shell and banks like ING and Rabobank. The Dutch aviation cluster was represented by companies like KLM, Fokker and NLR. The mission was led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, and was coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The object of the mission was to intensify government level cooperation between China and the Netherlands in the civil aviation and aerospace fields.
NLR has been active in the Chinese market for many years and in recent years has entered into various cooperation agreements. Last summer NLR signed a contract with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) with the aim of supporting AVIC in setting up a civil Air Traffic Management (ATM) research laboratory. NLR has further signed an agreement with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) under which it will assist COMAC in obtaining certification for the C919 civil aircraft. The aim of NLR during the trade mission was to strengthen existing contacts and networks and to identify possibilities for further cooperation.
China has made the development and production of its own aircraft industry a priority. The development of the country’s own aircraft industry was prioritised in the twelfth five-year plan of the Chinese government. The Netherlands holds a unique position in the world when it comes to developing, building and maintaining aircraft. The Dutch aerospace consortium is pursuing a share of 1 to 2% of the global value of aircraft production. NLR’s contribution lies mainly in providing knowledge in the fields of R&D, design, certification, production and maintenance.