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EU, China sign aviation deals to boost aircraft trade

The European Union and China signed two landmark deals on aviation cooperation, including a bilateral civil aviation safety agreement aimed at boosting trade in aircraft products.

Under the safety agreement, the two sides agreed to remove duplication in evaluation and certification of aeronautical products, reducing costs for the sector, the European Commission said in a May 20 statement.

Brussels and Beijing also signed a "horizontal" aviation agreement to align bilateral air services deals between China and EU member states with European law.

The horizontal aviation pact will enable all EU airlines to fly to China from any EU member state, Brussels said. Previously, only airlines owned and controlled by an EU country or its nationals could fly to and from Beijing.

In the first eight years of their implementation, the two aviation deals are expected to bring up to €3.5 billion in economic benefits for both the EU and China and create 11,000 jobs, according to the European Commission.