Brisbane mayor visits Taiwan to seek bilateral cooperation

A delegation led by Lord Mayor Graham Quirk of the Australian city of Brisbane is now in Taiwan to explore opportunities for bilateral cooperation.

"This is my 7th trip back to Kaohsiung since 2005 and I always enjoy coming to see progress that your city is making," said Quirk, adding that he has noticed Kaohsiung has a new light rail transit system as he is also proposing to construct a metro system project in Brisbane.

"As a sister city of Kaohsiung, I have led a strong delegation from different sectors including the real estate, hospitality, education, tourism, health, senior care, professional business service and telecommunications industries to participate in the forums," said Quirk.

Speaking about how a harbor city like Kaohsiung or Brisbane can transform and reinvent itself in the aftermath of the shrinking demand for harbors due to changes in global industry, Quirk told CNA that what Brisbane has done is to develop other industries such as the digital sector and creative economy.

The development of cruise ships could be one of the obvious economic opportunities for a harbor city like Kaohsiung, said Quirk, adding that the Brisbane authority is currently building an AUD$120 million (US$93 million) cruise ship facility to provide a modern, efficient and attractive service.

Over 100 local business representatives attended the investment promotion workshop, as part of the 2016 Global Harbor Cities Forum hosted by the Kaohsiung City government, to seek business opportunities and cooperation in Brisbane.

Meanwhile, Lord Mayor Quirk has announced a scholarship program for students of Kaohsiung-based National Sun Yat-sen University, including English course tuition and internship opportunities at Brisbane's city government, which is being jointly offered by the University of Queensland and the city government.

There are about 75,000 international students in Brisbane, around 4,356 of whom are from Taiwan, according to data compiled by Brisbane city government.

After Kaohsiung, the 20-member Australian delegation will travel to Taipei, the second leg of their trip, to visit city officials as well as business representatives in northern Taiwan.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council