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Ex-Im Backs $300 Million Gulfstream Order in China

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Global sales take off for business jet maker

Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.ís already rapid ascent in China just received another lift, as the Export-Import Bank of the United States backed a Chinese leasing company's order of eight business jets.

In December, Ex-Im guaranteed a $300 million loan to Minsheng Financial Leasing Co. Ltd., which is based in the city of Tianjin. That put Ex-Imís support of the business-jet and helicopter industry over $1 billion since fiscal 2012, achieving a goal set by bank Chairman Fred Hochberg, Ex-Im announced Feb. 21.

Backing from Ex-Im helps Gulfstream compete around the world against other global giants like Canadaís Bombardier Aerospace and Brazilís Embraer S.A. With its rising class of wealthy executives, China has become a huge market for high-end business jets.

"In 2008, we had 10 Gulfstream aircraft based in China. Today, this number has grown to more than 80 aircraft,Ē Gulfstream President Larry Flynn said in a statement. Gulfstream became the first business jet maker to put a service center in China when it opened at Beijing Capital Airport in 2012.

Gulfstream employs more than 9,400 people in Georgia after recent expansions, largely thanks to growing international sales. In 2010, the company announced a $500 million investment to expand its main factory, committing to hiring 1,000 people. It has already added 2,500.

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