Chengdu Business Forum Toast

(1pm January 30 2012, Reception Room, Sydney Town Hall)

Hello, everyone, and welcome. I would like firstly to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders. I also acknowledge the 200 nationalities who make up our City.

I also welcome most warmly our guests from Chengdu, the "City of Abundance" in Sichuan Province.

Later today, we will sign the memorandum of Understanding between the City of Sydney and the Municipal Government of Chengdu. It signals our commitment to friendship and co-operation, and promotes mutual understanding between our two cities.

Forums such as the one will we share today allow cities to come together to share knowledge and experience. They help promote global opportunities and partnerships. They also provide national governments with examples of proven ways in which economic and industry challenges can be met for mutual benefit.

So once again, I offer the members of the Chengdu delegation a very warm welcome to Sydney, and I am pleased to propose the toast to Chengdu, and to the relationship between Chengdu and Sydney.

Long may it prosper!