CCCA 10th Anniversary Celebration Dinner
Westin Hotel, Sydney
November 15, 2016
Address by Mr. Hu Shanjun Chairman of China Chamber of Commerce in Australia
Your Excellency Mr. Cheng Jingye, Chinese Ambassador to Australia,
Your Excellency Mr. Gu Xiaojie, Consul-General of China in Sydney,
The Honorable Steven Ciobo MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment,
The Honorable Matt Thistlethwaite MP, representing the Leader of the Opposition, the Honorable Bill Shorten MP,
Mr. Brian Wilson, Chairman of Foreign Investment Review Board,
Mr. Jonathan O'Dea MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Investment, Major Events and Tourism, representing the Honorable Premier Mike Baird of New South Wales,
Mr. Rik Morris, Executive Director of Digital Media Communication and Engagement, representing the Honorable Premier Jay Weatherill of South Australia,
Mr. Chris Mouat, Director of Trade and Investment, representing the Honorable Chief Minister Michael Gunner of Northern Territory,
Mr. Terry Wetherall, President of Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
Dr. Craig Emerson, Former Minister for Trade and Competitiveness and President of Australia China Business Council, New South Wales,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you very much for joining us tonight and celebrating the 10th anniversary of China Chamber of Commerce in Australia (CCCA). It is my great honor and pleasure to extend, on behalf of the Board of Directors and all members of CCCA, our warmest welcome and sincere thanks to all representatives from the Chinese embassy and consulates-general in Australia, to the representatives from both the Australian Commonwealth and state governments, to friends from all walks of life who have been supportive of the growth of CCCA over the years, and to all the guests, especially those who have travelled a long way from other states to join us tonight.
The past decade has witnessed continuous growth of CCCA membership and strengthening of CCCA institutions. Thanks to the support of the Chinese and Australian governments as well as local businesses and chambers, CCCA was officially established in April 2006 during former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Australia. Over the past 10 years, CCCA has expanded from the initial 54 to the current 289 members in 4 branches in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, with investment in agriculture, services, manufacturing, mining and energy, technology and innovation, just to name a few. CCCA has also been working to better serve its members. It has established a Legal Affairs and Compliance Committee and an Aviation Committee under the Sectoral Cooperation Committee to provide members with professional services on compliance and sector-specific issues.
The past decade has witnessed fruitful win-win outcomes in cooperation between Chinese and local businesses. Since the establishment of comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and the signing of CHAFTA, CCCA has been working very hard to promote communication between its members and the business community and government agencies of Australia by organizing symposiums on CHAFTA and the investment environment in Australia as well as dialogues between Chinese companies and Australian government agencies so as to improve their mutual understanding and trust. In 2015, CCCA published a book entitled “Chinese Investment in Australia” and prefaced by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The book describes the vivid stories of Chinese companies which have invested in Australia and provides a better picture of Chinese investment in this country. By taking advantage of the many opportunities presented by fast growing bilateral economic and trade ties, CCCA has undergone rapid expansion and has become an epitome of the win-win partnership between China and Australia.
The growth and contributions of CCCA are best illustrated by the first CCCA Australian Business Environment Survey conducted in June 2016. We have received responses from 123 members out of the total 289 members. According to the survey, the respondent members cover a wide range of industries with 21% in mining, 5% in manufacturing, 5% in construction, 43% in services and 3% in agriculture. The respondent members employed a total of 9,592 local employees, representing a considerable increase of 3,294 people employed compared with 2012. Of the respondent members, 60% are SMEs with annual turnover less than $10 million and 4% are large companies with annual turnover more than $500 million. Additionally, 80% of the respondent members were eligible for and were paying tax to the Australian government (the rest are either not eligible for tax for various reasons or non-responding), with 71% paying tax of less than $10 million each, 9% in excess of $10 million each in the last financial year while 3 CCCA members had paid in excess of $50 million tax each to the Australian government during the last financial year. Moreover, 63% of the respondents have operated in Australia for over 5 years; 34% for over 10 years whilst 3 have operated in Australia for more than 30 years. Acting as a bridge and a link between the two countries, CCCA has played a key role in promoting the development of China-Australia economic and trade relations.
More broadly, CCCA members have undertaken social responsibility to give back to local communities. Many members have incorporated charity into their social responsibility programs and are contributing significantly in improving local public facilities. The CCCA as an organization is also doing what it can in this area. For example, during the 2016 Blackmores Sydney Running Festival – Bridge Run, CCCA， for the 7th year, organized over 500 runners to participate and hosted a charity donation event, all funds raised were donated to Camp Quality, helping to raise awareness, understanding and care among the general public for children with cancer. Here, I wish to thank all the members for your commitment and dedication, and especially the secretariat for its efficient and excellent work over the past decade. Thank you!
Looking into the future against the backdrop of our two countries’ commitment to stronger relations, CCCA and its members are ready to build upon the progress of the past decade, and contribute further to a broader and stronger economic and trade relationship between China and Australia.
We are encouraged by the strong complementarity between the Chinese and Australian economies across all sectors as well as the growing opportunities facilitated by the implementation of CHAFTA. As Australian companies with investment originated in China, CCCA members are uniquely positioned to help our partners to understand and serve the needs of communities, consumers and investors in both countries, and have a solid basis to build upon in facilitating win-win two way trade and investment.
We are committed to contributing to the Australian and Chinese communities and economies, and pledge to continue to strengthen compliance with both Chinese and Australian laws, rules and regulations, further enhance cooperation and self discipline among CCCA members. We will do what we can to facilitate meaningful dialogues between CCCA members and the governments and other stakeholders in both China and Australia, promoting open, transparent and predictable business environment which will make two-way trade and investment easier for companies big and small.
We will continue to expand partnerships with governments, business associations, companies and the civil society and be good corporate citizens in Australia, setting high standards by encouraging and nurturing best practices, innovation and performances, and by supporting corporate endeavors for accountability, integrity and building caring and inclusive communities.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As the saying goes, “May you live in interesting times”. There is so much potential for stakeholders actively promoting stronger bilateral ties. Let us seize the day, seize the hour and seize the moment, to develop and tell successful stories of cooperation and friendship. The CCCA and its members look forward to working with you towards an even brighter future. It is my firm belief that with the joint efforts by all its members and with the support of all relevant parties in both countries, CCCA will embrace more and more greater decades in the future.
Last but not least, may I wish you good health and great happiness in all your endeavors.
Have a wonderful evening!