Reception for Organisations Fostering Queensland’s International Relationships
Distinguished guests – friends – of Queensland’s diplomatic and consular community. Kaye and I welcome you all most warmly to Government House this evening. So many of you have become very well known to us over the last 15 years – which speaks to your devotion to the service of your nationals here in this wonderful part of Australia.
One of our several goals tonight is simply to return the generous hospitality extended to us by the Consular Corps twice in the second half of last year. Particularly, we were most struck by the Corps’ dinner to welcome us on my appointment as Governor, which was such a friendly and welcoming occasion emphasizing also that Queensland is very much a global player.
These favouring sentiments are not meant to imply egregious favouritism towards the Consular Corps.
And so Kaye and I are also delighted to have at Government House tonight representatives of a range of organisations that work to strengthen bilateral links between Queensland and our international partners.
I especially mention DFAT, and the Chambers of Commerce or Business Councils, we enjoy here with the US, China, Japan and Arabia, and the Australian Institute of International Affairs.
These links enrich our State in many ways.
On the economic front, Queensland’s two-way trade was valued at close to $88 billion in 2013-14. Investment flows add billions more.
These are very large numbers, but the benefits are best seen at the micro-level. Trade and investment create substantial business activity in Queensland.
This ranges from the small-scale, such as international sales of indigenous artworks from remote communities, to the very large, like our minerals and agricultural exports.
In this way, trade and investment make a vital contribution to the generation of revenue and employment, of enormous importance to communities all over this State.
Our international relationships are also enriched by connections forged through education, research collaboration, travel and tourism, cultural exchanges, cooperation between governments, sister-State and sister-city arrangements, and via many other pathways.
Consular representatives accredited in Queensland are part of this network, providing important connections between our State and the many countries they represent, as do their embassies in Canberra.
And the mega-meetings such as the G20 in Brisbane last year prove quite useful too!
I have experienced these international relationships at work at first hand, through involvement in the G20 and productive visits to the United Kingdom, Belgium, India, Singapore and New Zealand.
I warmly acknowledge the wonderfully committed work of our State and national representatives in those jurisdictions, doing good work generally, and very helpful to us on our recent visits.
As Governor of the State, and on behalf of Queenslanders, I express great appreciation for the work that all of you do in building and strengthening these important relationships.
And finally, on a personal level, may I say how very much Kaye and I have valued an association with you over many years, and how impressed we have been by your support of your nationals here, and your support of a more broadly representative Queensland State and Australian nation. We wish you continuing success, to the benefit of all Queenslanders especially.