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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1123 ..

Nara and Beijing sister city relationships

(Question No 87)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, upon notice, on 19 February 2002:

(1) Since the agreements were signed, what is the amount of financial benefit gained by the ACT from (a) Nara (b) Beijing twinning?

(2) How many ACT (a) politicians (b) public servants (c) business people have visited each city since the agreement was signed.

(3) If the figures for (1) and (2) are not available, why not.

Mr Quinlan: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

1(a) The value to the ACT of the Nara- Canberra relationship is measured by more than the financial benefit to business. In addition, records are not kept of private commercial transactions.

(b) The same concept of value, rather than simply financial benefits applies to the Beijing- Canberra relationship. The known direct revenue as a result of the Beijing Sister City relationship indicates a sum in excess of $1 million arising from the work of the taskforce that assisted Beijing with its 2008 Olympic bid and $40,000 for training provided to staff of the Beijing Environment Protection Bureau. There is no data available for private sector outcomes. The Sister City agreement has, nevertheless, raised the profile of the ACT as an education destination. It is estimated that over the last two years Chinese students have injected approximately $17.6m into the ACT's education institutions.

2(a) Three Ministers have visited Nara and five Ministers have visited Beijing.

(b) Twenty-nine public servants, including 14 exchange teachers, have visited Nara. Nineteen public servants have visited Beijing.

(c) The ACT Government does not keep a record of the number of business people who travel outside the ACT.

(3) See above.

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