Airbus SAS and China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have reached a "memorandum of understanding" to expand their current cooperative efforts in commercial aerospace. In particular, they agreed to promote the development of engineering skills and technology innovation in China, and advance the integration of Chinese suppliers into the Airbus global supply chain.

The MoU was signed by Airbus chief operating officer and Commercial Aircraft president Fabrice Brégier and NDRC chairman He Lifeng.

In 2015, Airbus entered into an agreement with the Tianjin Free Trade Zone Investment Company Ltd. (TJFTZ) and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to set up an A330 Completion and Delivery Centre (C&DC) in Tianjin. That operation is due to deliver its first commercial aircraft in September of this year.

Airbus had previously established an A320 Family Final Assembly Line and Delivery Center in Tianjin, which will begin assembling its initial A320neo jets by the end of this year.

In the new MoU, both parties agreed to continue their air transportation projects, to address the expansion of China’s civil aviation sector; to address relevant environmental and atmospheric issues; and to expand their work into new aircraft products, offering helicopters as an example.

“The success of the industrial cooperation between Airbus and China makes itself a model of high-tech and win-win partnership between China and Europe,” according to Brégier. “Together with our Chinese partners, we are confident in meeting the new challenges and opportunities and look forward to an even deeper and broader partnership.”