Hodgman to talk up abalone

SPRUIKING wild abalone, attending an investment round table and meeting Ta Ann customers is on the itinerary for Will Hodgman's first overseas trip as Premier.

Mr Hodman yesterday released more details of next week's trip to China and Japan.

He will spend two days with Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Shanghai meeting business leaders and Chinese government officials before going on separately to Japan to meet forestry investors. 

In Shanghai, he will also launch the Australian Wild Abalone Program, designed to counter the impact on Tasmania's export market from the increase in China's own farmed abalone. 

Margate company Tasmanian Seafoods, one of the largest processors of abalone in Australia, will be among the more than 600 businesses joining the Prime Minister on what is set to be Australia's largest ever trade mission to Asia. 

It is the second trip to the region by a Tasmanian premier in 12 months, after former premier Lara Giddings led a 16-day trade mission, including 60 businesses, in September.  

The eight-day trip will cost taxpayers $37,000, which includes airfares and accommodation for Mr Hodgman's chief of staff,  Brad Stansfield, and Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts Department general manager Alan Campbell.

Mr Hodgman said he would use the trip to send a clear message that Tasmania was ``well and truly open for business''. 

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