Happy Lunar New Year.
I would like to send my very best wishes of health, happiness, success and prosperity to everyone who is celebrating the Lunar New Year.
With over 1.2 million people of Chinese heritage living in Australia, it is a special time for many communities and families across our nation.
With the Year of the Pig now upon us, it’s also a great time to reflect on the strong connections between Australia and China.
As the Australian Minister for Trade, I am very aware of the strong economic relationship between our two nations. China is Australia’s largest trading partner and both our countries continue to reap the benefits of the landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
I was myself lucky enough to see this strong trade and investment relationship in action when I visited Shanghai in November for the China International Import Expo.
Our two countries also enjoy strong people-to-people connections through education and tourism.
Currently there are around 185,000 Chinese students studying in Australia and we welcome over 1.4 million Chinese visitors to our shores every year. China is also an attractive destination for many Australians, with more than 400,000 visiting in the last year.
I have every confidence that the relationship between Australia and China will continue to prosper in 2019 and well beyond.
Have a wonderful and safe Lunar New Year, and I wish you great fortune and happiness in what I hope and trust will be a prosperous Year of the Pig.