Opening Ceremony of 2015 Asia Pacific Cities Summit Mayors’ Forum and Welcome Reception
As Governor of Queensland, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to perform the pleasant duty of welcoming all delegates to Brisbane for this tenth Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayor’s Forum. I extent a particularly warm welcome to all of you who are visiting Brisbane for the first time, and that endorses, respectfully, the Indigenous welcome, with my respects to the traditional custodians of these lands, the Turrbal and Jagera peoples.
While I am Governor of the State of Queensland, the emphasis of this conference is not on nation or state polities, but on cities – and of course in the end, on the people who aggregate to constitute them. I have been a proud resident of this City for more than 50 years, after earlier years in the Queensland country, and I thank successive Councils and Lord Mayors for the City we enjoy today.
Cities are many and varied: long established like London, Paris, New York; the exemplary Singapore; the rebuilt Berlin; the rebuilding Christchurch. I mention those because of visits over recent years. My point is that we have much to tell each other about our respective city experiences.
The four streams of this year’s Summit – Global Cities, Digital Cities, Future Cities, and Cities for People – share a unifying goal: highlighting how cities can drive economic growth for the benefit of the wider Asia Pacific region.
This makes this Summit globally relevant; ours is a region, in an arc from Abu Dhabi west through Asia, across the Pacific and down the Americas, which contains more than half the world’s population.
Over the next three days the formal sessions – and no doubt the informal discussions you will have with fellow delegates – will spark new ideas, and assist you with implementing roadmaps to future prosperity.
You will hopefully develop common goals and workshop shared solutions, enabling cities to strengthen their capacity to serve their communities, thereby improving quality of life.
I especially encourage delegates to explore how the 15 Queensland cities and regions represented here this week can utilise their strengths in agriculture, resources, construction, tourism, technology and innovation, to partner with you in achieving your goals, serving beneficially as many as 123 cities across the region.
I particularly acknowledge our host, the Lord Mayor of Brisbane Graeme Quirk, and indeed everyone from the Brisbane City Council for their professionalism and vision. This Summit is a proud Brisbane initiative, and we very much look forward to its return here every four years.
I thank everyone, including previous host cities, who over the past two decades have ensured that this forum retains its contemporary relevance as an unparalleled apolitical forum for advancing international dialogue between cities.
On that positive and uplifting note, I wish you all a productive and professionally satisfying Summit here in Brisbane.
And it is with great pleasure that I now declare officially open the tenth Asia Pacific Cities Summit. Thank you.