Embraer said today it signed a preliminary agreement with AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation of China) for their Chinese joint venture company, Harbin Embraer Aircraft Industry Company (HEAI), to set up a Legacy 600/650 production line in China.

HEAI was established in January 2003, and has assembled and delivered 39 ERJ-145 regional jets, on which the Legacy executive jets are based.

Embraer said it expects finalize the details of the new arrangement with AVIC and “execute the relevant documentation” within weeks.

In light of the rapid growth of the Chinese executive aviation market, Embraer and AVIC are encouraged by the potential of the Legacy 600/650 in that market, not to mention the Legacy family’s potential in the broader Asian market.

Embraer’s corporate presence in China dates back from 2000, and there are more than 80 Embraer aircraft currently operating in the country.