Corporate jet maker Gulfstream Aerospace has set up its second Asian office in Hong Kong to further its near-term goal of deriving more than a quarter of its revenues from Asia. Currently, more than 75 per cent of the group's revenues are derived from its base in the United States. Growing demand in Asia is set to change that equation, according to vice-chairman Brian Moss, who is in Hong Kong as part of a broader bid to drum up business in Greater China. Mr Moss said half of the company's revenues would come from outside the US by 2001, with half of non-American sales deriving from Asia. The move to establish an office in Hong Kong, following the setting up of Gulfstream's first Asian office in Singapore, appears to be driven at least partly by the planned opening of Chek Lap Kok airport in 1998. The new airport is expected to provide part of the impetus for the growth in sales. Chek Lap Kok will have a special area specifically designated for corporate jets. Hong Kong airport authorities recently invited expressions of interest for the design, construction, operation and management of a business aviation centre at Chek Lap Kok. For many years, lack of facilities at Kai Tak airport has kept most corporate aircraft out of the territory. Over the past year, most of them have been forced to land at the new airport in Macau, and before that at airports such as Taipei. Mr Moss' visit, together with that of a number of Gulfstream executives, is targeted primarily at promoting sales in China, where the company has had no success. Among discussions the group will hold during its three-day visit will be key talks with the Civil Aviation Administration of China. Mr Moss said the Gulfstream delegation also would meet a number of government and private-sector organisations. The company was not expecting success in China to come overnight, he said. However, it had received a favourable early reaction to its aircraft in China, and was hoping to win commitments during the visit. Mr Moss said the company had an internal target period for success in China, but would not divulge exactly what goals it had set. 'If, for example, in 48 months we have zero prospects and zero sales, we may reassess our strategic evaluation of China,' he said. 'But I fully expect on this trip to identify and generate bona fide proposals [in China] to buy our product within the next 18 months.' It is the first time a delegation of Gulfstream executives has visited the mainland en masse. Mr Moss said he was pleased with the early response from organisations operating in Beijing. Government organisations were expected to be the key to the growth of Gulfstream's market on the mainland. In China, there are just a few government-owned corporate jets flying. However, this is expected to change as many government business enterprises try to ensure they keep up with their counterparts in the US, Europe and other parts of Asia. Additionally, southern and central China have seen an explosion in airport construction and modernisation, continuing the impetus to expand the use of corporate jets. Neighbouring Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan have large numbers of corporate jets in operation. Gulfstream has two models available: the Gulfstream IV, which costs about US$28 million, and the new ultra-long-range Gulfstream V costing about $33 million. This puts its prices at the high end of the range for corporate jets. Aircraft with smaller cabins and shorter ranges built by some of its competitors are believed to be priced as low as $4 million.