Tasmania's reputation as the gateway to Antarctica has been strengthened on the world stage with a new agreement between China and Tasmania signed today.
Our agreement with the State Oceanic Administration of China (SOAC) will lead to increased collaboration in Antarctic science.
The signing took place in an historic ceremony witnessed by the Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and myself aboard the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long in Hobart.
This agreement implements the Memorandum of Understanding on Antarctic Gateway Cooperation signed last year and will see Tasmania and China explore opportunities including:
Tasmania and China have collaborated in Antarctica for the past 30-years and this agreement will strengthen our friendship with China while also providing a boost to the Tasmanian economy.
The Antarctic sector makes a significant contribution to the state's economy, contributing more than $187 million each year and directly employing around 1,185 people, with Tasmanian businesses providing specialised cold climate goods and services, food and shipping supplies and fuel for ships and stations.
Today is an important milestone for Chinese and Tasmanian Antarctic friendship and we look forward to a productive relationship into the future.