Ladies and Gentlemen
It’s my great pleasure to join you this evening at this gala dinner to celebrate the relationship between the Gold Coast and Chengdu.
The partnership between these two great cities is a perfect example of the mutual benefits to be gained through deeper Australia-China cooperation.
It is fitting that this cooperation will, very soon, be recognised through the official signing of sister-city ties, for which I give my heartfelt congratulations.
Be it in education, health, tourism, technology or sports, the Gold Coast-Chengdu relationship is both broad-ranging in scope and deep in its mutual goodwill.
We see this goodwill in all areas and levels of the relationship.
Starting at the very top, it’s my pleasure to once again welcome Mayor Tate to Chengdu, whose annual visits here indicate the high importance he places on the bilateral relationship. I understand this is now his sixth visit to Chengdu!
Mayor Tate’s visit follows hot on the heels of Chengdu Mayor Luo Qiang’s trip to the Gold Coast just last week, where Chengdu was awarded the right to host the 2025 World Games.
I’m sure Gold Coast stands ready to offer Chengdu any advice and assistance based on their own successful hosting of the Commonwealth Games last year.
We see this goodwill in the people-to-people links between the Gold Coast and Chengdu.
I had the great pleasure only this morning to be present at the launch of Study Gold Coast’s annual student video competition.
The young Chengdu students who are talented and lucky enough to win this fantastic competition will have the opportunity to visit their newest sister city.
The relationships they develop and the experiences they gain will further contribute to the close ties and mutual understanding between the Gold Coast and Chengdu.
We also see this goodwill in your trade and economic cooperation.
Look no further than the partnership between the Griffith University Institute for Glycomics and Chengdu-based Olymvax Pharmaceuticals.
Their joint research into a new vaccine for Streptococcus A infection promises to benefit not just the people of the Gold Coast and Chengdu, but millions around the world.
Of course, this goodwill extends beyond individual cities and permeates throughout our bilateral relations.
The recent announcement by the Australian Government to establish a new and innovative National Foundation for Australia-China Relations is a clear commitment to ensuring our reservoir of goodwill is deepened into the future.
Building on the pioneering work of the Australia-China Council over the past four decades, the Foundation will harness the efforts of all areas of the Australian community to maximise our national effort in engaging China.
And regardless of the result of this weekend’s federal election, the Australian Government will continue to place the utmost importance on our relationship with China.
Let me finish by again congratulating the Gold Coast and Chengdu on the upcoming signing of your sister city relationship.
It is both a momentous milestone and a natural evolution of your close and mutually beneficial engagement to date.
I look forward to witnessing even closer cooperation into the future.