Boeing said Wednesday it will "start to compete against" China's first domestically produced passenger jet, which is being showcased at Asia's biggest airshow as Beijing seeks to boost its presence in the global aviation industry.

The single-aisle C919 aircraft made its international debut this week at the Singapore Airshow, featuring in both flying and on-the-ground displays in a bid to woo international buyers.

The plane, made by the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), is a potential competitor to the market-leading A320, made by Europe's Airbus, and the 737 MAX from US-based Boeing.

Dave Schulte, Boeing's commercial marketing managing director for the Asia-Pacific, said the C919 is similar to what Boeing and Airbus produce in the narrow-body segment and it could be something that airlines in the region may consider.

"It is an airplane that will continue to compete, that... we will start to compete against," he told reporters at the airshow.

But "it will be up to each of the manufacturers to prove the value to the airlines, prove the products, the strength of the product," he said.

"I think they (COMAC) will also have some of the growing challenges... that they will have to overcome in order to continue to compete in the market across the region."

Schulte said the plane is included in Boeing's forecast that Southeast Asia will need 4,225 new airplanes by 2042.

He predicted that demand will be driven by the needs of low-cost carriers, which have gained wide popularity in the region of more than 650 million people.

The C919 has been making commercial flights in China since May and was displayed for the first time outside mainland China in Hong Kong in December.

But it has yet to attract buyers outside the country.