BEIJING — Navistar will develop and distribute school buses in China under a new agreement with Chinese truck maker JAC.

At this week's Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, IC Bus parent Navistar and JAC (Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd.) signed non-binding letters of intent to partner on the school bus initiative as well as on light-duty truck export from JAC in China to Navistar dealers in Brazil.

Through the agreement, Navistar will collaborate with JAC Motor and its "related party," a leading Chinese bus and chassis manufacturer, on a number of school bus opportunities. These include potentially importing IC Bus brand school buses into China as well as the design, development and distribution of school buses manufactured in China for the Chinese market.

Officials said that Navistar would also partner with JAC and Chinese government officials to offer its school bus safety knowledge and best practices.

“Navistar is excited to be sharing our experience and school bus safety expertise with China, and we look forward to additional opportunities in the future,” said John McKinney, president of Navistar Global Bus Group.

Student transportation in China has received significant attention recently.

The country's State Council earlier this month adopted a bevy of new regulations on the transportation of students. The changes came in the wake of two major school transportation accidents in China in late 2011, each of which killed more than a dozen students.