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Speech: Press Conference launch of the First Innovation Competition of International Talents


Launch of the First Innovation Competition of International Talents

5 January 2015


Good morning and thank you for inviting me to speak at the media conference for The First Innovation Competition of International Talents that will be held in Shenzhen, China during April this year.

I would like to acknowledge Victor Wang, Senior Representative of SETO, Councillor Jin from the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Sydney, Mr Brent Clar, CEO of Wattblock, members of the media and guests.

I would also like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and pay my respects to their Elders.  I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our city.

And what a wonderful way to start the year by supporting this event that aims to deepen international cooperation in innovation and further promote talent facilitated through technology and capital.  An event that will not only drive success through innovation but also continue to strengthen the already strong ties between Australia and China, Sydney and Shenzhen.

In my role as Deputy Chair of the Economic and Business Development sub-committee for the City of Sydney I am constantly amazed by the depth and breadth of talented innovators and start-ups that call Sydney home.

The City of Sydney is home to 41% of Sydney’s information, communication and technology (ICT) employees.  This sector is one of the fastest-growing in Sydney, increasing by 23 per cent since 2006.  Across the city centre, there are nearly 25,000 people working in digital businesses, making it the third-largest industry in Sydney.

Sydney has long had close connections with China – more than 60% of Chinese business visitors to Australia come to Sydney.  China’s trade with the Sydney area is estimated at around $10 billion a year and increasing.  People of Chinese ancestry make up nearly 10% of the city’s population and over half of all Australians born in China live in Sydney.

Sydney also has a strong and vibrant start-up community with the majority of start-ups located in the City of Sydney LGA including the CBD, Ultimo and Pyrmont, Redfern, Surry Hills and Darlinghurst.  We also have major tech companies like Google and Microsoft which have programs to encourage startups.  The universities also have strong engineering or computer science and business graduate programs.

I believe many of the companies in the City of Sydney would welcome the opportunity to participate in this competition.

It is a very exciting time to be a member of Government championing so many great start-ups and supporting them in their quest to target global opportunities, particularly in the Asian region.

It is very pleasing that SETO has asked me to speak about The First Innovation Competition of International Talents, with the regional the final of which will be held in Shenzhen during April this year.

I am also very pleased that this competition will continue to strength the ties between Australia and Shenzhen.

The growth of Shenzhen as a city of entrepreneurship and innovation is well known.  I believe that competitions like the one we are focusing on today will continue to raise the city’s profile as the high-tech and manufacturing hub of southern China.

The city’s focus on innovation and strong R&D through economic policy and the support of industrial parks like the Shenzhen High-Tech Industrial Part or SHIP as it is known and the Shenzhen Virtual University Park will also continue to support research and innovation.

I look forward to hearing more from the competitors at the Sydney competition which will be held on the 5th of April.

Finally, I acknowledge the leadership of Ministry of Science and Technology of the Peoples Republic of China, State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs in supporting this competition and the sponsor, the People’s Government of Shenzhen Municipality and the hosts and others involved in the support and development of this competition.

Thank you to SETO for inviting me to speak at this press conference today and I wish all the competitors and the organisers the best of luck.

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