NSW Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner today welcomed the Governor of Guangdong, His Excellency Mr Zhu Xiaodan, to NSW Parliament to celebrate and progress the Sister State relationship between NSW and the Chinese province.
Mr Baird and Mr Stoner attended the Joint Economic Meeting (JEM) with Mr Zhu, which was held on the 35th anniversary of the Sister State relationship.
Mr Baird said the partnership had provided an economic advantage to both economies as a result of close cultural and economic ties that have developed over the past 35 years.
“I am pleased to welcome Governor Zhu to Sydney after meeting him in Guangdong earlier this month during my first official overseas mission as Premier,” Mr Baird said.
“The Governor makes history today by becoming the first Chinese leader to address NSW Parliament, reflecting the mutual respect and understanding between our states.
“Both NSW and Guangdong are the economic powerhouses of our respective nations and like NSW, Guangdong has the largest economy of China’s 31 provinces.
“China is on track to become the world’s largest economy. Our Sister State status means we are in prime position to work with Guangdong on opportunities that arise, quickly and effectively.
“Today’s Joint Economic Meeting has focused on supporting and developing the smart technology, agribusiness and research and development industries.
“The Governor and I have signed a Joint Statement that identifies specific and practical initiatives that relate to these areas, which we can progress as part of our relationship.
“Our Sister State relationship has prospered over the past 35 years and the NSW Government is committed to further strengthening it in the years to come,” Mr Baird said.
Mr Stoner said NSW had a lot to gain from being closely linked with Guangdong, which is among the world’s 15 biggest economies, with a GDP of more than $1 trillion.
“Our Sister State relationship with Guangdong - the first such relationship between an Australian State and Chinese province - gives NSW a competitive advantage against other Australian economies,” he said.
“It allows us to share knowledge and create an environment that allows trade and investment opportunities to be easily identified.
“Today’s Joint Economic Meeting has brought together leading businesses and research institutions to identify areas for cooperation.
“There are four practical outcomes that have resulted from today’s meeting, including the establishment of a Young Leaders Exchange Program and Collaborative Education Programs, as well as a pledge to continue hosting Information Exchange Workshops.
“We have also agreed to continue cultural exchanges in the areas of music, performing arts and sports.
“The NSW Government will work with Guangdong to progress these projects quickly.
“China is a priority market for the NSW Government. It is our largest trading partner and biggest source of international tourists and we are determined to do what we can to build on this relationship into the future,” Mr Stoner said.