SHANGHAI – The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Shanghai Media Group (SMG) signed a co–operation agreement which will provide the basis for a long term partnership between their international channels; Australia Network and International Channel Shanghai (ICS). Li Ruigang, president of SMG said, “This is a significant agreement and it represents an ideal opportunity for SMG and the ABC to build a strong relationship into the future around the cultural aspects of television broadcasting. It will unquestionably lead to a greater knowledge and understanding between Australians and Chinese.” The agreement now positions the broadcasters with a wide range of international co–operation options from exchange of television programs, to providing mutual news gathering support and content supply, through to exploring international television program co–productions. Selected Australia Network programs will soon be seen on International Channel Shanghai, and Shanghai Media Group will have access to studio and production support in Australia immediately. The new agreement represents a long term commitment between the two broadcasters. The ABC also has had a long standing agreement of co–operation with China’s national broadcaster, CCTV, and recently signed an agreement with Chongqing Television and Radio Group. “It is vitally important in today’s economic and cultural environment that solid international partnerships are forged and maintained between major international media companies,” said Maurice Newman, chairman of the ABC. “As the national broadcaster in Australia, we are very committed to actively developing this partnership which is firmly in the best interests of the cultural and economic relationship between China and Australia. We also look forward to contributing high quality Australian content to the wide range of international programming broadcast on International Channel Shanghai, and to continuing our long term co–operation with CCTV,” he said.