The world’s two largest regional jet manufacturers see significant benefits from China’s adoption of leasing and financing facilities associated with more mature markets.

Both Bombardier and Embraer already have been cementing their presence in China through operational ventures, such as Embraer Harbin and Bombardier’s supplier contracts with Avic. But now the two airframers are focusing on how to sell their products to a country expected to produce by far the largest demand for new commercial and business aircraft.

The most recent example is a memorandum of understanding between Embraer and ICBC Financial Leasing Co., which was launched in 2007 by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, to create financing opportunities for the Brazilian manufacturer’s jets. Total program support could amount to as much as $2.5 billion over the next five years, predicts Embraer.

ICBC already has a similar agreement with Bombardier, which in February also signed an MOU with Avic International Leasing.

“The rapid development of the Chinese economy has resulted in high growth rates for regional and executive aviation, making it one of the greatest potential markets in the world,” says Embraer Commercial Aviation President Paulo Cesar Silva, adding, “The cooperation with ICBC Leasing reinforces the recognition from Chinese leasing companies of Embraer’s leading presence in the regional aviation and growing strength in executive aviation.”

ICBC Leasing’s current portfolio contains about 70 aircraft.

Cong Lin, ICBC Leasing’s CEO, also notes this deal’s implications for Chinese aviation. “The strategic alliance with Embraer indicates one important breakthrough in the company’s aviation business segment, which also demonstrates our efforts to contribute to the development of China’s regional and executive aviation. Through integration of financing leasing services with industries entities and taking advantages of the strength of each party, we look forward to win-win collaboration,” says the lessor’s CEO.

This is just the latest effort to attract Chinese sales. Bombardier, in addition to dispersing its sales effort globally, has new VP positions in both its sales and structured financing departments focused specifically on lessors, the Canadian aerospace company’s VP-strategy, business development and structured finance, Mairead Lavery, tells Aviation Week.

Indeed, Bombardier considers leasing firms a pivotal factor in future aircraft sales, and is keen to promote the inclusion of three financiers in a recent sale of CRJ1000s to Spanish operator Air Nostrum.

These three lessors, and those Bombardier considers most important for its product line, are new entrants and niche specialists that do not compete with the larger leasing firms that have predominantly shunned regional jets in favor of aircraft from Airbus’ and Boeing’s stables.

China is a prime example of this, says Lavery, where various aspects of the economy are adopting or adapting to financial practices employed elsewhere in the world. Coinciding with this is Bombardier’s development of the CSeries, an aircraft with a large number of Chinese components. “We have a different mindset with the CSeries; we are very focused on having lessors in our portfolio,” says Lavery.