Speech by DR.XU Jie, Consul-General of China in Brisbane, on the Occasion of Celebrating China Southern Airlines 20 Years Air Service to Australia
20th September 2017

Hon. Kate Jones, Minister for Education and Tourism,
Ms. Leanne Coddington, CEO of Tourism and Events Queensland,
Mr. Louis Lu, Managing director for China Southern Airlines, Australia and New Zealand,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to attend the celebration of China Southern Airlines' 20 years Air Service to Australia. On behalf of the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Brisbane, I would like to extend our congratulations and thanks to China Southern Airlines for its 20 years efforts in providing high quality services, and bringing peoples of our two countries closer than ever before. 

We are delighted to notice that, with 20 years market development, China Southern Airlines has covered most big cities of Australia, flying over 160 flights per week between China and Australia. Indeed, China Southern Airlines forges a "sky bridge" between our two countries, contributing its efforts in promoting bilateral exchanges in areas like tourism, trade, investment and enhancing the mutual-understanding of people of different cultures. China Southern Airlines has also been very active in fulfilling its social responsibilities through supporting cross-cultural exchange programs, community development and business association network. 

In recent years, China-Queensland economic and trade cooperation has been growing rapidly and achieved fruitful results. China has been the largest trading partner of Queensland for four consecutive years. Now China is Queensland's biggest export market, source of import, source of overseas visitors and source of foreign students. Just for last year alone, there were about two million personnel exchanges between our two countries, Queensland received 485 thousand Chinese tourists, which counts a year-on-year growth of 33%. China Southern Airlines, along with other Chinese airlines, has made important contributions to our cooperation in trade and investment and people to people exchanges.

Nowadays China's economy has maintained a stable growth with a good momentum. As the living standard of Chinese people continue to rise, more and more Chinese choose to spend their holidays abroad. The next five years will be a golden age for China's import and export, with an expectation of total volume of 8 trillion USD, a foreign investment amounts to 720 billion USD and over 600 million overseas travelers. Australia, with a good location along the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, would enjoy great access to cooperation opportunities and huge development potentials in tourism, aviation, infrastructure and many other related fields.

Queensland is a state of unique landscapes and natural beauty, making tourism one of her leading tertiary industries. China, on the other side, with its vast territory, various tourism resources, its long history and deep cultural heritage, attracts a lot of Australian tourists as well. This year is not only the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-Australia diplomatic relations, but also the year for China-Australia Tourism.

The Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Brisbane, will as always facilitate the cooperation between China and Queensland in fields of mutual interests. Let's work together to make a difference.

Last but not least, I wish China Southern Airlines a great success and all guests here a pleasant journey with it.  

Thank you all.