Australia's Tasmania, China agree to 'work together' on Antarctic expeditions
Updated: 2015-09-10 11:00
MELBOURNE - Australia's Tasmania will provide technical support for future Chinese Antarctic expeditions after delegates from the small Australian state reached an accord with Chinese officials on Thursday.
Tasmanian ambassadors struck a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Tasmanian Polar Network and the Polar Research Institute of China as part of an eight-day trade mission.
The bilateral agreement will mean Tasmania could provide repair and maintenance, spare parts and technical support for equipment used as part of China's expeditions to Antarctica.
Tasmania's Minister for State Growth Matthew Groom, who is leading the party of around 50 delegates, said Tasmania had the resources to hold up its end of the bargain.
"We have got a great network of businesses and expertise that can help service China's Antarctic research expedition and we're very keen through these discussions to find practical ways to work together," Groom told the Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC) on Thursday.
Groom said Tasmania's relativity to the icy continent could be useful for Chinese explorers.
"The concentration of Antarctic expertise is unique to our state and this MOU is a significant step forward in this important collaboration between Tasmania and China, reinforcing our gateway status to service China's rapidly growing Antarctic expedition," Groom said.
"One thing in particular we're keen to do is to ensure we've got good infrastructure to support China's Antarctic expedition and research needs."
As part of the trade mission, Tasmania featured its renowned local produce before 300 people at a Chinese premium food market on Wednesday night.