The Chinese Ski Association has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Winter Games NZ Trust ©Audi quattro Winter Games NZ

The Chinese Ski Association (CSA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Winter Games NZ Trust which will see it use New Zealand and the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ as their training and competition base during the northern hemisphere summers in the lead up to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Audi quattro Winter Games NZ chief executive Arthur Klap signed the agreement with CSA vice-president Liu Chengliang in Beijing, where New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key was also present. 

"This is a momentous step for snow sports in New Zealand," said Klap.

"In fact it is most unusual anywhere in the world to have a sporting organisation achieve a Memorandum of Understanding with a national sports body.

"It was also significant having Prime Minister John Key witness the signing, underlining the importance of the agreement."

Winter Games NZ Trust chairman Sir Eion Edgar claimed the CSA, by striking the agreement, recognised them as a world leader in the delivery of a quality winter sports event.

"There has been a lot of work go into the landmark deal," he said.

"The Chinese do not enter into agreements like this lightly, but they have made it clear they want to be closely associated with us as they build up to hosting the Winter Olympics."

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The Audi quattro Winter Games NZ is a multi-sport event held every two years for international athletes ©Getty Images

The profile of snow sports is relatively low in China, which is why the country is making a major investment into its ski industry and has a target of 30 million skiers and snowboarders by 2021.

"This is an issue for the CSA which sees Winter Games NZ events as pivotal for promoting their leading athletes and building that profile," said Klap. 

"The CSA will also assist us in obtaining broadcast coverage on CCTV in China during our events and in return we will help with training opportunities for Chinese snow sports teams, and provide advice and on-the-ground support for the organisation of snowboard and freestyle World Cups, leading up to the Beijing Winter Olympics.

"Chinese snow sports officials will be invited to shadow Winter Games NZ officials and we will facilitate New Zealand expertise in ski-field management, snow management, grooming and technology to assist the CSA and Chinese ski resorts."

Sport New Zealand chief executive Peter Miskimmin paid tribute to the biennial Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, which is next due to take place in Naseby, Queenstown and Wanaka from August 25 to September 10, 2017 

"It is a testament to the team at Winter Games NZ that their expertise is now being sought by the CSA in the lead up to the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022," he said.

"This partnership will deliver real benefits for both countries."