Embraer banks on Portugal plant in euro crisis
EVORA, Portugal, June 12
EVORA, Portugal, June 12 (Reuters) - Embraer's Evora factory in Portugal will remain the company's most important international investment despite a deepening euro crisis, the Europe head of the world's third largest commercial aircraft maker told Reuters.
Luis Fuchs said the components plant will start operating in September and deliver its first shipments for assembly in Brazil by the end of the year.
The factory represents a 177 million euros ($221.44 million)investment.
"We have to make this investment. The world will recover from the crisis, one way or another, and we need to be prepared to ride the recovery of the global economy," Fuchs said when asked if the investment was at risk if Portugal left the euro zone.
Portugal is under a 78-billion euro International Monetary Fund/European Union bailout that includes across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts that have cooled internal consumption and pushed the country into its worst recession since the 1970s.
The foreign direct investment represented by Embraer's project is seen as a model to follow at a moment when Portugal needs to boost exports to rebalance its external accounts.
The Evora factory in the southern Alentejo region, one of Portugal's poorest and least populous, will build components for Embraer's Legacy 450 and 500 executive jets as well its largest cargo plane, the KC390.
Fuchs said Embraer already has orders for the planes it will produce with the components. "Brazil is going to have the World Cup and the Olympics and will need planes to monitor security," he said.
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