ADELAIDE, Australia, March 30 (Xinhua) -- A Festival of Australia is to be held in 10 Chinese cities between May and June, announced Simon Birmingham, the Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, on Saturday.
The festival, which runs between May 20 and June 2, will showcase Australia's food, wine, aged care, innovation, education, investment, culture, tourism and sport.
It spans 10 cities from Tianjin to Shenzhen with the last leg in Shanghai where Port Adelaide will play St Kilda at the premiership match at the Jiangwan Stadium.
Other highlights include Wine Australia masterclasses, a Tmall Global online promotion, the annual Australia-China Business Awards Dinner, consumer and alumni competitions, business delegations promoting sports technology, asset management and aged care, and Australian photography exhibitions, Indigenous music performances and film screenings.
"China and Australia have deep commercial and cultural ties, built over many years, but there is (still) an significant opportunity to grow exports of quality Australian products and services to the world's biggest consumer market," said Birmingham.
"As well as promoting premium Australian food and beverages, the Festival will highlight Australia's capability in healthcare, culture, tourism, sports, education, financial services, business and innovation spheres," he said.
"We are committing up to 250,000 (Australian) dollars (about 177,355 U.S. dollars) of annual government support towards this initiative, in addition to 400,000 (Australian) dollars recently announced for Tourism Australia to be the official tourism sponsor of the 2019 Toyota AFL (Australian Football League) premiership game," said Birmingham.
Port Adelaide Chairman David Koch said the announcement is "an incredible vote of confidence for what Port Adelaide is doing in China."
"When we first played an official game in China in 2017, people were pleasantly surprised at what had been achieved. Now, the annual match which is to a large extent the product of Port Adelaide's vision and excellence, is the anchor of a significant event for Australia in China. I couldn't be prouder," he said.
The AFL also welcomed this decision.
"This support will ensure our game becomes a marquee event in the Australia-China business calendar," said AFL CEO Gill McLachlan.