South Australia's Chinese community is celebrating the Lunar New Year and welcoming another Chinese Zodiac, the Pig - a symbol of wealth and good fortune. We look forward to another year of strong bi-lateral ties with between South Australia and China in areas of trade, tourism, sport and cultural exchanges.
- His Excellency, The Honourable Hieu van Le, AO
- Governor of South Australia and Mrs van Le
- Ms HE Lanjing
- Chinese Consul General for Adelaide, and Mr Yaqi Guo
- Ministerial and Parliamentary colleagues
- Members of the Consular Corps
- Chinese community and business leaders
- Distinguished guests
- Ladies and gentlemen
First, as minister responsible for aboriginal affairs, I would like to acknowledge that we meet today on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people and that we respect their spiritual relationship with their Country.
It is a great honour to be co-hosting tonight’s Chinese New Year Reception with the newly appointed Chinese Consul General, Ms He Lanjing.
Tonight not only kicks off the Lunar New Year celebrations, as we welcome another Chinese Zodiac, the Pig.
It also highlights the strength of the bi-lateral relationship between South Australia and China.
I’m told this joint Reception between the State Government and the Chinese Consul General is the only one of its kind in Australia.
No other State has recognised their relationship by arranging a co-hosted Reception.
For those who don’t know, Ms HE Lanjing was appointed to her new position only last month.
So on behalf of the Government, I take this opportunity to publicly welcome Ms HE Lanjing and her husband, Mr Yaqi Guo, to South Australia.
Consul General, it is a pleasure to recognise your appointment.
I am sure you will be warmly received in the South Australian community.
I am equally confident you will enjoy the stunning sights and experiences that Adelaide and the rest of our State have to offer.
And that you will find we are a city and a State of great opportunity with every reason to be optimistic and excited about our future.
I understand that tomorrow – January 18 - marks the third anniversary of the opening of the Chinese Consulate Office in Adelaide.
I’d like to congratulate all those associated with the Consulate General Office for the success it has been, and I trust there will be many more anniversaries to come.
My Government looks forward to working with the Consul General to help deliver great results for our enterprising and hard-working Chinese community.
We will also continue to work closely with our business migrant community and South Australian businesses with an interest in trade with China.
It’s just 10 months since my government came to office, but in that time, we have given high priority to extending our ties with China.
Indeed, my first overseas trip as Premier was to China – our State’s largest two-way trading partner.
While in November, my Government proudly opened our new Trade and Investment Office in Shanghai.
This is the first of five new overseas trade offices that we will establish, highlighting the priority we are giving to strengthening our relationship with China.
Having a presence in the wonderful city of Shanghai will create more opportunities for Chinese businesses to trade and invest in South Australia, and for our businesses to supply our great products.
Of course, I’m particularly looking forward to the Port Power football team I support playing in Shanghai again this year.
This event has shown how sports diplomacy connects people and places for mutual advantage and opportunity.
We are also very proud that China is our biggest source of international students and one of our most valued tourism visitor markets.
Last year alone, over 35, 000 international students enrolled in South Australian education and training institutions, while we welcomed almost 60, 000 Chinese tourists.
I especially thank China Southern Airlines for their investment in additional services.
There are now five flights a week between Adelaide and Guangzhou.
Initiatives like this are making Adelaide and China much more accessible.
We look forward to more.
More business opportunities, more social and cultural exchanges, and more economic partnerships.
Together, South Australia and China have already built a remarkable trade and investment partnership based on common interests, vision and entrepreneurship.
With the support of the new Chinese Consul General, we are excited about building on this relationship for mutual benefit to secure more opportunities for you – our business community and our migrant community leaders.
Our Chinese friends are one of South Australia’s largest and most vibrant migrant communities.
I am pleased to see many Chinese organisations represented tonight.
The Chinese community is an outstanding example of a successfully integrated community.
You have maintained your cultural traditions which enrich us all whilst also making an immense contribution to every-day life in South Australia.
My government is incredibly supportive and proud of our multicultural society, and we have a vision to build on South Australia’s diversity.
As I look around the room tonight, I know many of our Chinese migrants have built a great livelihood for their families in Adelaide, and we want to see more of that.
With the vibrancy of our Chinese community, our calendar is decorated with occasions for celebration, with the most recognisable being the Lunar New Year.
For you, the next month will be full of New Year Celebrations, and I am looking forward to welcoming the Year of the Pig with you all over the coming weeks.
2019 is an auspicious year, as the Pig represents the twelfth Zodiac animal, and is a symbol of wealth and good fortune.
Pigs embody the characteristics of courage, honesty and enthusiasm.
They are not wasteful spenders, but they know how to loosen the purse strings, if needed, to enjoy the adventures of life.
Generally, this time of year allows us all to reflect and look forward to the wonderful opportunities the next twelve months may bring.
I hope you can all embrace the new opportunities the Year of the Pig presents.
And, as I reflect tonight, it’s hard to believe that we are already in the third week of 2019.
I am looking forward to more of the great moments of 2018.
Our State finished the year on a massive high with the Federal Government announcing that the Australian Space Agency Headquarters will be based here in Adelaide.
While for our small businesses, they began the year relieved of the burden of payroll tax.
We fully intend to maintain this momentum in 2019 in our relentless pursuit of economic growth for South Australia through investment and job creation.
These ambitions align perfectly with the Year of the Pig.
So I am sure 2019 is going to be a fantastic year.
Thank you again for your presence tonight.