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European aerospace industry calls for support
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08:20, April 17, 2009

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Europe's aerospace and defense industry called on Thursday for more government support on research and development and better access to credit for their suppliers and customers.

Alan Cook, president of the AeroSpace and Defense Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and head of British arms firm Cobham, said that the industry was not asking for a government bailout, but help was nonetheless needed.

"We are a solid, innovative industry, well-equipped to weather the current economic turmoil and, beyond that, to significantly contribute to the economic recovery of the continent," Cook told reporters.

"We are encouraging (governments) to revive financial support to our customers, in particular through the implementation of funding schemes and in facilitating airlines access to liquidity for the purpose of new aircraft," he added.

Cook's call came as airlines are canceling or postponing orders for new planes amid the credit crunch and economic crisis, making life harder for the aerospace and defense industry.

Cook also wanted the European Union (EU) and national governments to provide more long-term investment in innovation, insisting the industry is investing in R&D at record levels.

"Market-driven R&D is vital for us to be able to prepare the next generation of European aircraft and support our defense industry," Cook said.

Source: Xinhua

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