AUSTRALIAN trade officer Vivian Zhao has been appointed Tasmania's first trade and industry representative in China.
Premier Lara Giddings will announce Ms Zhao's appointment today.
Ms Giddings said Ms Zhao, who already worked at the Austrade office in Shanghai before beginning work in the Tasmanian advocacy role yesterday, had a strong contact network in China that will enable her to identify opportunities for Tasmanian businesses.
``She's going to have a wide and varied role here in China, and not just in Shanghai,'' Ms Giddings said.
The three-year appointment makes Tasmania the first state to have a designated trade officer on mainland China.
Establishing a trade office in Shanghai was announced in the state government's Asian Century White Paper in March.
Ms Giddings and a 60-strong delegation of government and industry are on the 10th day of a 14-day Asian trade mission taking in Indonesia, Hong Kong, China and Japan.
The delegation visited the Jiangsu Shagang steel mill near Shanghai yesterday, a major shareholder in Grange Resources, which operates the Savage River mine.
Ms Giddings said the trade mission had promoted Tasmanian education in Indonesia, spruiked Tasmanian cherries in Hong Kong and set up St Helens-based Seafoods Tasmania to export whole sea urchins to China.
She said some of those opportunities would not have arisen without face-to-face meetings.
``We are across Tasmanian industries and companies, so when sea urchins came up we knew the exact company that would be able to have an opportunity here,'' she said.
``To have the premier of the state here to discuss business is very important in both business and politics in China.''
The delegation will head to Japan later this week and will host a seminar on the Tasmanian forestry industry.