Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 19 September 2017) . . Page.. 3906 ..

We cannot sit back and wait for the world to fall into our lap; we must actively engage. That is why our Chief Minister recently attended the tourism ministers meeting in Beijing and Hong Kong, which was held in late August. Promoting greater tourism from China is an important goal of our government. As the Chief Minister outlined to the Assembly this morning, 45,000 Chinese visitors arrived in the ACT, accounting for 21 per cent of total international visitor arrivals, a 25 per cent increase from last year.

Of the 1.2 million Chinese tourists that visited Australia last year, 45,000 visited Canberra, which represents 3.75 per cent of that cohort. Given that the ACT makes up just 1.7 per cent of the Australian population, this is an excellent per capita result for our territory, showing that, despite our small size, we are attracting international visitors at a greater proportion than the rest of the country and demonstrating that our strategy is working.

Canberra is an education destination and we need to make sure that Canberra continues to be an attractive student destination to bolster our export economy. As outlined in the “Canberra: Australia’s education capital” strategy, there are more than 11,000 Canberrans who were born in China—2.9 per cent of our population—and 22,500 with Chinese ancestry. When we look at the part of our city taking in the Australian National University, postcode 2601, this figure swiftly rises to 21 per cent of Canberrans in the postcode who were born in China, including Hong Kong.

As at December 2015, there were 12,830 international students studying in Canberra. Of those, Chinese students, in addition to those from Hong Kong, made up 6,402 people, or 49.9 per cent, almost exactly half our international student cohort. There are also now more than 14,000 international students in our city, as of 2016. We are also on track for strong growth in 2017, with student visa grants showing a 22 per cent increase in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter of 2016.

This demonstrates why, in the international engagement strategy, education and research are identified as one of the key capability areas of the ACT economy. Our city’s education sector contributes $2.7 billion to the economy and creates 16,000 jobs. In particular, the international education aspect of the sector contributes $579 million and 6,000 jobs to the ACT economy. Of these figures, Chinese students account for a significant proportion of our international students, who come to gain a world-class education at our country’s best institutions.

Every international student who has a positive experience living in Canberra will help drive future travel from friends and relatives and act as advocates, innovators and exemplars, as alumni, to help raise the profile of Canberra and the Canberra institutions in which they studied.

The ACT also has a positive relationship with Japan. Japan has the third-largest economy in the world and we have a strong sister-city relationship with Nara. The education sector is a vital export for Canberra and there are more than 24 universities in Japan which offer exchange programs with the ANU.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video