“New South Wales shows highly interest in Guangdong’s Belt & Road construction plan. We will seize the opportunity to strengthen cooperation and achieve win-win results,” said David Hurley Governor of New South Wales (the 1st sister state of Guangong Province), when met with Hu Chunhua, Party Secretary of Guangdong Province and Ma Xingrui, Governor of Guangdong last week in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.
David Hurley Governor of New South Wales
After the meeting, David Hurley accepted an interview from Newsgd.com.
Newsgd: Under the Belt and Road (B&R) initiative, will there be a new breakthrough in cooperation between Guangdong and New South Wales?
Hurley: China’s B&R initiative is looking for sustaining economic growth around the world, which is good for those material manufactures in China and Australia. I think the Initiative provides a great opportunity for developing bilateral relationship.
New South Wales and Guangdong can cooperate in the field of finance, modern agriculture industrialization, environmental protection, urban transformation and community sustainable development.
Agriculture is a specific area that we need to further develop, as Australia’s agricultural system is changing according to the market demands of Asia. For example, quick delivery of fresh fruit is a new area that can be further developed.
In addition, I think that we can strengthen cultural exchanges. For example, we can promote cultural exchange activities centering around traditional festivals of China or Australia. Sydney Art Festival, which is held in January, sometimes even coincides with Chinese new year. I think we can celebrate together on such occasions.
Newsgd: Guangdong and New South Wales have established sister relationship since 1979. During the past 38 years, in your opinion, in which field the cooperation between Guangdong and New South Wales has made the greatest progress？
Hurley: It is a long history of the cooperation between Australia and China. Bilateral economic cooperation has made great achievements, especially in the manufacturing field. I talked to the Governor of Guangdong, Mr. Ma, and he said that Guangdong government will continue to give great support to the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing industry occupies 25% of Guangdong’s GDP. I think this industry will develop sustainably.
GDP of Guangdong ranks first in China while New South Wales is named ‘the first State of Australia’, The cooperation between Guangdong and New South Wales is a powerful combination. Bilateral relation has great potential for further cooperation.
Newsgd: Can you talk about the science and technology cooperation between Guangdong and New South Wales?
Hurley: There is a strong connection in education cooperation between Guangdong and New South Wales. There are 65 thousand Chinese students in New South Wales and many of them are from Guangdong. At present, both University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney have strong relationship with universities in Guangzhou. We visited the Guangzhou university and several high schools before, and got to know they have cooperation with some scientific and industrial research organizations in Australia. They are also looking for opportunities to carry out appropriate cooperation with some educational institutions.
Newsgd: 2017 is Sino-Australian tourism year, tourist agents and visitors of both sides interact a lot. Do you have any plan to promote Guangdong and New South Wales on tourist field?
Hurley: Many tourists come to New South Wales and their first stop is Sydney. Many of Sydney's landmarks and famous tourist attractions are located at the heart of the city. However, what we miss is the history of Australia, which is in the rural area. I think the government should focus more in this part.
In fact, visitors not only can experience the charm of the city, but also visit the farm. For example, you can visit the “cherry city”, which is several-hour trip from Sydney. They produce the best cherry in the world. Visitors can observe how farmers grow cherries, pick cherries by themselves and take cherries away as a gift. Tourism development in Sydney is very mature. I think we can take the advantage of Sino-Australian tourism year, and explore more fun.
Newsgd: Can you use a word to summarize your impression of Guangdong?
Hurley: Lively. The local food impresses me a lot. Actually, Cantonese food is not strange to me. It is up to 150 years ago that Cantonese first came to Australia and now Australia has many typical Cantonese restaurants. I believe that more and more Australian tourists will visit Guangdong, to experience different culture and traditions. I think Australians will like Guangdong.