11 Dec 2015
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory
Tourism and economic development opportunities will be the focus of a five-day trade mission to China led by Chief Minister Adam Giles.
The trade delegation includes representatives of the tourism industry, the NT Cattlemen's Association, Chamber of Commerce, Minerals Council and NT Farmers' Association.
Mr Giles said developing tourism opportunities was a major feature of the delegation's program.
"China, because of its population and strong economic growth, is becoming a major source of tourists. The Territory offers many of the experiences that the Chinese tourist is looking for including adventure and cultural experiences," he said.
"To date, the Greater China market remains relatively untapped by the Northern Territory with only 1.2 per cent market share of the total visitors arrivals to Australia. We want to grow that number of visitors from 14,000 to 30,000 a year by 2020.
"But the key is air services between the Territory and China. A major focus of the mission will be to promote the NT as a tourist destination to key players in the aviation industry.
"Direct services would open up a massive new market for local operators and, as a government, we want to ensure we are promoting the opportunities the Territory offers to decision-makers in the Chinese aviation and tourism industry," he said.
The delegation will also visit the port at Rizaho operated by the Landbridge Group, which was recently awarded the long-term lease of the Port of Darwin.
Landbridge developed and operates a major bulk port in the North Haizhou Bay in the Yellow Sea, located at Rizahao, between Beijing and Shanghai. The port has been in operation since 2009 and employs 1,100 people. There are plans to expand it from its current 30 million tonnes of capacity to over 200 million tonnes.
The port is located close to Landbridge's petroleum refinery and includes bulk liquids and pipeline infrastructure, general cargo and iron ore berthing and unloading facilities.
The delegation will be able to discuss plans for improvements to the Port of Darwin directly with the senior Landbridge executives.
Mr Giles said Landbridge had already committed to an initial $35 million of new growth investment over the first five years, with the first project to commence in early 2016.
"It's important as the owner of the Port of Darwin, the Government is across the strategic priorities for its improvements.
"I have every confidence that both the Northern Territory Government and the Landbridge Group have a shared vision for the Port of Darwin and these discussions are an important part of our relationship with the new operators of our Port," he said.
Media Contact: Jon Taylor 0417 710 687