The sisters (and brothers) were all in fine voice this week when Victoria was on show to a large Chinese business group. Chin Communications’ interpreting team members still have most of their voices despite a frenetic few days.

Victoria hosted this large trade delegation and the guest of honour, the Jiangsu Vice Governor, for a range of activities. A highlight was formation of the Victoria – Jiangsu Regional Alliance  launched at a breakfast on 29 July. This initiative will promote Victoria’s diverse regions and production to Jiangsu, develop cultural experiences and it takes the Victoria and Jiangsu relationship to a new level. On show was the diversity of Victoria from the citrus and wine regions, to tourism and education, from grain production to dairy.

In 1979, Victorian Premier Rupert Hamer and his counterpart in Jiangsu, Chairman of the Revolutionary Committee Mr Xu Jiatun, recognised the promise of a sister-state relationship. This relationship was one of the first of its kind between an Australian state and a province of the People’s Republic of China. The initiative followed Australia’s prescient establishment of diplomatic relations with China in 1972. Victoria and Jiangsu took this step towards deepening their relationship in the same year that the United States was only just getting around to diplomatic relations with China.

Supporting the Victorian Government with the program has been a team of up to 20 Mandarin Interpreters and Translators from Chin Communications – translating  various event materials and brochures, and interpreting during early mornings, late nights, from biotech and physics, to regional tours – all have all been part of the Chin fabric this week. While we are honoured to be part of this “bigger than ben hur” job to assist the State Government in further strengthening the relationship with their counterpart, we are also very impressed with the huge benefits that this great Sister Act has brought to both parties.

Chin Communications' Mandarin interpreters on song during the Victoria-Jiangsu's Sister Act

Chin Communications’ Mandarin interpreters on song during the Victoria-Jiangsu’s Sister Act

Benefits Growing – From $31 billion to $850 billion

In 1979, two-way trade between Australia and China was just over $100 million. Jiangsu and Victoria’s Gross State Product (GSP) was approximately $25 billion and $31 billion respectively. Now, 35 years later, two-way trade between Australia and China exceeds $150 billion. Looking back to 1979 the choice seems enlightened: Jiangsu is now China’s second-largest provincial economy, with GSP of more than $850 billion. Similarly, Victoria is Australia’s second-largest economy, contributing over $337 billion to the national economy. When it is all said and done, the Victorian Government chose a ripper of a province to make the connection.

Now in the fourth decade, Victoria and Jiangsu have built a far-reaching relationship encompassing deep trade, cultural and personal links. This week, the 35th anniversary of the sister-state relationship recognises not only the vision of our past leaders, but the value of this ongoing relationship as an asset to build upon.

Art and music, education, sport, business, ICT, biotech. medicine … some of the initiatives and programs, have included:

  • the Hamer Scholarship Program that supports 50 young Victorian professionals annually to undertake intensive Chinese language study in Jiangsu
  • the Sister-schools Partnership Program with 176 Chinese school students, 19 teachers and 3 education officials from Suzhou placed in 15 Victorian schools this year to promote a shared understanding of culture and values
  • the Victorian Young Leaders to China Program for 1,500 Victorian Year 9 students to undertake extended study in China to enhance their language proficiency and knowledge of China
  • the Victoria-Jiangsu Business Placement Program, which offers 12 Victorian companies the opportunity to participate in a three-week residential business program in Jiangsu
  • the Jiangsu-Victoria ICT Company Matching Event held in Nanjing to facilitate and enhance engagement between Jiangsu and Victorian companies in the sector
  • the Southeast University-Monash University Suzhou campus Joint Graduate School, which will accept 350 Masters students and 150 PhD candidates each year, expanding to more than 1,400 students by 2017 to undertake research across a range of disciplines. This milestone partnership is the first to grant an Australian university a licence to operate as a university in China and the first foreign university to run postgraduate programs
  • Burnet Institute has established a new company in Nanjing to develop point-of-care diagnostic tools to diagnose and test patients with infectious diseases like hepatitis, HIV and tuberculosis; research exchanges will flow on too

Facts about Jiangsu

Population: 79 million, Gross State Product: RMB 5.9 trillion (2013) (second in China)

Jiangsu Province is situated on the central east coast of China, close to Shanghai. It is an important logistics hub due to both its coastline and the Yangtze River, which connects Jiangsu with other Chinese provinces and global markets. The province is an economic powerhouse in China – the second highest economic output of all provinces in China (22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, not counting special municipalities and areas). Jiangsu accounts for over 10% of China’s GDP. Jiangsu’s capital, Nanjing, is one of the most important cities in China. It was the capital of several Chinese dynasties — including the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and again prior to the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Industries – Jiangsu is well known for electronics, petrochemical and steel manufacturing, but also in emerging industries including:

  • new energy
  • new material
  • biotechnology and new medicine,
  • energy saving and environmental protection
  • new generation information technology and software
  • internet and cloud computing, high-end equipment manufacturing
  • new energy-powered vehicles
  • smart grid and marine engineering equipment as well as a growing services sector
  • Jiangsu also has the largest number of universities and students of any province in China and has been China’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment. In 2011, it was the fourth largest source province of Chinese visitors to Victoria

Congratulations Victoria and Jiangsu on celebrating this milestone and well done Team Chin! In the meantime, we’d love to see more Sister Acts happening between other Australian states and provinces in China!

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Friday 23rd October
4:07 am