Monday, 29 May 2023
South Australia Club - Hong Kong Chapter
It is my great pleasure to be here with you this evening.
This is my first visit as Governor of South Australia to Hong Kong, a place of great significance to me personally and to my State.
My first posting as a young diplomat was in Hong Kong, in the late 1980s, and I have many special memories from this time.
The Hong Kong Chapter of the South Australia Club was one of the first, and it continues to provide an invaluable source of engagement on South Australia’s priorities and opportunities for investment.
As Patron of the South Australia Club, I have a keen interest in the continued success of each Chapter in facilitating strong engagement between South Australia and our international networks.
It is indeed pleasing to see many partner companies of South Australian exporters here this evening – covering a diverse range of sectors – who have come from all over Hong Kong.
I hope to meet as many of you as I can.
The South Australia Club is about more than simply trade and investment outcomes, it’s about fostering strong people-to-people links and a shared sense of purpose.
Cultural exchange, tourism, education – these are all fundamental in South Australia’s approach to international engagement.
Together with the strong two-way trade and investment outcomes, the club’s network has the capacity to enrich both of our societies.
International education is particular focus on mine.
In addition to my involvement with the South Australia Club, I am also the patron of StudyAdelaide.
A priority for my visit is continuing to foster South Australia’s excellent relationships with international education institutions and students.
Hong Kong is an important source of international students, with more than 1,700 students choosing to study in South Australia in the year to February 2023.
International students contribute greatly to our state, culturally and economically, and it’s been my pleasure to see them return in strong numbers over the past couple of years.
I also extend a warm welcome to members of the Hong Kong Chapter of the South Australian Wine Ambassadors Club here tonight.
I trust that you - having recently visited South Australia’s world leading wine regions – are energised to bring our state’s world class wine to Hong Kong.
South Australia considers Hong Kong to be a priority partner, demonstrated by our permanent presence here via our Trade and Investment Office.
I thank Alice Jim, the Government of South Australia’s representative in Hong Kong, for facilitating this event.
No doubt it’s the relationships that Alice has built with many of you, which have brought you to the South Australia Club.
As South Australia club members, you are all influential business leaders excelling in your chosen fields of endeavour.
Your expertise, business acumen and connections help maintain the Club’s reputation as a world-class resource for South Australian businesses.
And we are fortunate to have you as part of a respected and valued worldwide network of more than 250 ambassadors.
Let me give you a short update on South Australia’s strengths and capabilities.
South Australia is a hi-tech hub and was recently announced as the location for the development and production of mRNA vaccines for Australia.
Global pharmaceutical giant, BioCina, will use South Australia’s world-leading precision medicine manufacturing technology to produce mRNA vaccines at population volumes.
South Australia’s Lot Fourteen innovation precinct on North Terrace, just a short walk from Government House, has attracted some of the world’s biggest and brightest across hi-tech, defence, space and creative industries.
Bringing together research, education, industry and government, Lot Fourteen is an integral part of South Australia’s innovation ecosystem.
South Australia is a world leader in clean energy, which has been, and will continue to be, an important growth area for South Australia and our international partners.
Presently, more than 70 per cent of South Australia’s electricity requirements are met by renewable energy.
That already puts us in a world-leading position.
Our goal is to reach 100 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030, and 500 per cent by 2050.
But it is South Australia’s ambition to become a global leader in hydrogen energy generation and supply.
Food, beverage and wine produced in South Australia remains an export strength for our state and attracts visitors from all over the world.
The ongoing demand for premium products that are cleanly, safely and sustainably produced will continue to see significant opportunities for South Australia’s food, beverage and wine businesses in the year ahead.
For this reason I am very pleased by the progress of the South Australian Wine Ambassadors Club, launched last year to support South Australian wine exporters with the assistance of patrons James Halliday and Tony Love.
In just eight months, five chapters of the Wine Ambassador Club have been launched in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
Our ambassadors from 27 wine importer groups have already helped 14 new wine brands to market, providing an all-important foot in the door for businesses to enter these important markets.
As a benefit of membership, wine ambassadors are provided the opportunity to visit South Australia on what we call a ‘familiarisation visit’, from which local ambassadors have just returned.
It was the first event of its type for the club and I trust you found it both productive and enjoyable.
I encourage you to strike up conversation with a wine ambassador about their experiences, as well as enjoy the South Australian wine on offer this evening.
South Australia is open, ready and keen to do business.
We are committed to innovation, entrepreneurship, and building fruitful partnerships for the long-term.
Thank you to all club members for your commitment to building the South Australia-Hong Kong chapter, and I look forward to seeing the club go from strength to strength into the future.