Ideas discussed for visit of Xi

PLANNING for an official visit to Tasmania by Chinese President Xi Jinping continued yesterday, with Premier Lara Giddings discussing ideas for his itinerary with the Chinese Ambassador to Australia. 

Ms Giddings met with Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu in Canberra to plan the potential trip, which she has predicted would be one of the biggest logistical challenges in the state's history.

President Xi is yet to confirm plans to visit Tasmania, but in April he told then prime minister Julia Gillard he wanted it  to be on his itinerary when he made his first official visit to Australia. 

Ms Giddings hoped the invitation would be taken up after President Xi attended the G20 summit held in Brisbane in November next year. 

``The ambassador noted that the President has fond memories of his friendship with Tasmania as governor of our sister state, Fujian Province,'' Ms Giddings said.

``An official visit would be a huge opportunity to showcase Tasmania, not only to the President, but the entire globe.''

The ambassador will visit Tasmania early next year to get a first-hand impression and report back on his experiences to Beijing. 

During the meeting Ms Giddings suggested possible ideas that could be on his itinerary including: 

 Hosting a reception on board an Incat vessel, similar to the one  exported to operate across the Taiwan Straits.

 A port call by the Chinese Antarctic vessel Xuelong to mark the 30th anniversary of Chinese Antarctic voyages.

 Opening the Australia China Business Council bilateral conference, which will take place in Hobart. 

 A special performance by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Ms Giddings also used the meeting  to discuss strategies to further strengthen economic and trade relations between Tasmania and China.

``Ambassador Ma sees particular opportunities in the mining, agriculture and tourism sectors.''

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