Ladies and Gentlemen, friends,
It is my honour to join you this evening to welcome Tourism and Events Queensland to Chengdu to mark the opening night of ‘Taste of Queensland’, in association with Niccolo Hotel Chengdu.
This month-long festival will allow people from all across southwest China to have the unique opportunity to taste the rich flavours Queensland has to offer. I can speak from personal experience on this, as I have just returned from a wonderful regional tour of Queensland, myself.
Queensland is an important partner for Chengdu, Sichuan and southwest China more broadly. Only a few months ago, Mayor Tate of the City of Gold Coast signed a Sister-City MOU with Chengdu, firmly cementing their close ties. Brisbane has an active Sister-City relationship with Chongqing; the Fraser Coast will be celebrating its 20 year Sister City relationship with Leshan next year, and Ipswich also enjoys sister-city relations with Pengzhou. These ties form the bedrock of our broader bilateral relations, with commercial, educational and personal connections central to binding it all together.
Queensland and Sichuan share a great deal of similarities. Both regions share enjoy an enviable abundance of nature’s beauties, whether it be The Great Barrier Reef or Jiuzhaigou, both attract tourists from around the globe. Both societies are friendly, inclusive, and share the love for a slower-paced, relaxed and healthy lifestyle, where food is central. Whether it be the freshest of seafood from Queensland, or the mightiest of Sichuan’s hotpots, both serve important roles in bringing people together.
Southwest China is an important market in its own right. Its economy is larger than Australia’s, and is home to China’s fastest growing middle-class, which is set to double over the next three years. Consumer tastes continue to broaden, especially in Chengdu’s, and as southwest China’s consumers continue to seek higher-quality products, there is great opportunity for Queensland’s premium produce to fill this gap.
Through the Trade and Investment Queensland office based here in Chengdu, Queensland has enjoyed an ever-increasing profile, and I can say first hand, it has been an absolute pleasure working with the team based here and in Shanghai to continue to highlight Queensland’s offerings to the region and its people.
Tourism and Events Queensland also does a wonderful job in promoting the best Queensland has to offer. Whether it be its food, world class education, pristine environment, or its pioneering role future technologies, Queensland has it all. Queensland recently partnered with Uber, launching the world’s first rideshare submarine to tour the Great Barrier Reef. And only last month, Queensland signed a mobile payment agreement with Alipay, paving the way for even more Chinese tourists to enjoy this idyllic location, and savour its finest culinary delights. Earlier this month, GoPro chose Cairns for its global launch of its newest dual lens camera MAX, and showed off the best of Queensland.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for your kind attention, and I look forward to sharing our tasting journey together over a Bundaberg beer or a Sirromet Wine.