South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has departed on a nine day trade mission to China and Hong Kong.
The ABC reports that the trip will focus on the agriculture, tourism, food, wine, mining and education sectors and that the premier will be joined on the trip by 60 business leaders from those industries.
Weatherill said China’s “…expanding middle class has a massive demand for our premium clean food products.
“There’s a massive demand for our energy and resources and demand for our education services so we're exploring all those things."
The premier will also be concentrating on China’s ever-growing tourist market.
"They are our largest, by value, tourism income group so they have more visitor nights and they spend more money than any other group … so China's tourism is absolutely crucial for us," Weatherill said.
"We will be looking to encourage them with what we have on offer. We are also talking to airlines, also forming some really strong relationships between us and a number of provinces within Hong Kong and China to demonstrate to each other what we have to offer.”
Adelaide Now notes Opposition Leader Steven Marshall’s criticism of the government’s relationship with China.
Marshall pointed out that figures from the Australian Bureau of statistics show that SA’s exports to China had declined by 9.4 per cent in the 12 months to the end of February.
Also, he said the Government had closed overseas trade offices, cut assistance to exporters, and postponed a target of $25 billion worth of exports by 2013 until 2020.