The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and The University of Queensland Asia-Pacific Forum
I am delighted to be at this important event, and it is with great pleasure that, as Governor, I welcome all participants in this Forum to Brisbane and to the State of Queensland. I offer a particularly warm welcome to distinguished members of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Last weekend Brisbane played host to the leaders of the G20 and also hosted a large number of other associated activities, including programs specifically designed for groups ranging from business to youth.
These activities are of particular significance in giving the G20 further range and depth at the institutional, professional and personal levels. They complement and support the high-level deliberations and decisions of the G20 heads of government.
I certainly believe that this Forum will fulfil a similar role by bringing together representatives of government, business, and academic and research institutions from Australia and China.
I am particularly pleased that Forum participants are meeting at this prestigious university, which is my alma mater, and in the State of Queensland, which plays a major role in Australia’s relationship with China.
In 2013-2014, Queensland welcomed over three hundred thousand visitors from China keen to see and experience our marvellous State. And tourist flows are most certainly in both directions.
Queensland exports to China in the same period were almost 11.6 billion dollars, more than a quarter of this State’s total exports. Queensland and China have a robust investment relationship. The Queensland Government devotes substantial resources to developing the economic relationship with China.
Queensland is a major destination for Chinese students, with over twenty thousand studying in our State. There are formal and informal relationships and exchanges between academic institutions.
There is growing cooperation in scientific research between China and Queensland’s internationally-renowned research and innovation base.
And, of course, there are many cities in our State that have sister city relationships with counterparts in China.
All of these activities give further substance and weight to the high-level political relationship, strengthening it with tens of thousands of people-to-people contacts built around the principle of mutual benefit.
This Forum adds a further dimension. As is appropriate for an event involving academic and research institutions, it is designed to cast an analytical eye over the relationship.
The Forum seeks to identify promising areas for collaboration and it looks to the future in seeking to build a “culture of cooperation” in these areas. I am sure that the session devoted to innovation and environment, in particular, will be inspired by this magnificent building, which is a testament to the university’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, teaching and learning.
The ideas exchanged here, the institutional, professional and personal relationships formed or strengthened, will make a substantial contribution to the bilateral Australian-China relationship.
The Forum program is ambitious and its list of participants impressive. Among them are a former Prime Minister of Australia, senior business leaders, distinguished office holders from the University of Queensland and other Australian universities and, of course, senior representative of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
I congratulate the University of Queensland, for its foresight in organising the Forum.
I thank the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences for its support, including in arranging the participation of so many of its distinguished members.
I thank all those who have agreed to contribute their experience and expertise to the Forum.
It remains to wish you all a productive and stimulating Forum that will further boost understanding and cooperation between Australia and China, Queensland and China, and more broadly in the Asia-Pacific region. Thank you.