SOUTH-EAST ASIA TRADE MISSION
Ms HILDYARD ( Reynell ) ( 14:37 ): My question is to the Premier. Can the Premier update the house about his recent visit to Vietnam with His Excellency the Governor, Hieu Van Le?
The Hon. J.W. WEATHERILL ( Cheltenham—Premier) (14:37): It was my great privilege to accompany His Excellency the Governor, the Hon. Hieu Van Le, and the Minister for Investment and Trade on the Vietnam leg of South Australia’s mission to South-East Asia.
Vietnam is a youthful and dynamic growth economy. Its needs match up with a range of South Australian opportunities that South Australian businesses are well placed to satisfy. There are significant opportunities in resources, agribusiness, food, wine, education, health and ageing services, and research. Of course, South Australia already has substantial links with Vietnam, and indeed Vietnam’s largest source of foreign direct investment comes from a South Australian company, that is, Santos. So people are very familiar with South Australia in Vietnam.
But there is one very significant advantage that we have, a special one for South Australia, and that is the fact that our Governor, His Excellency the Hon. Hieu Van Le, is the only Vietnamese vice-regal appointee in the world.
Honourable members: Hear, hear!
The Hon. J.W. WEATHERILL: It is a source of enormous pride for the people of Vietnam. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Governor’s reception in Vietnam was nothing short of a rock star welcome. Everybody from the highest government officials through to the newest students received him with both warmth and extraordinary pride. Make no mistake: that connection will open doors for South Australian businesses. The other good thing to report is that Vietnam is not heavily populated by visitors from other states, or indeed even the federal government, so this is a massive greenfields opportunity for us.
At a practical level, the Vietnam leg of the mission focused on education and agribusiness. In Ho Chi Minh City, I was pleased to announce that South Australia’s Certificate of Education will be delivered to students in Vietnam for the first time, in 2017. I also announced the winner of an opportunity to travel to Adelaide as a student ambassador for South Australia, and 22-year-old Ms Le Huyen Chi from Hanoi will travel to Adelaide later this year to experience life as a student in Adelaide and promote studying in Adelaide via the social media.
A number of South Australian companies, including Beston foods, 4 Ways Fresh and various winemakers, have had significant success in Vietnam as part of their mission and their ongoing work in the region. A delegation from the fashion industry from South Australia seeking to attract participants from Vietnam in our own fashion festival also had great success. Finally, I had the opportunity to attend a theatre show, My Village, by theatre company AO Show at the Saigon Opera House, and I am pleased to inform the house that AO Show intends to perform at OzAsia in 2017, and audiences will be treated to an outstanding experience.
I was honoured to accompany His Excellency to the country of his birth and to witness the pride that Vietnam has in his outstanding achievements. Obviously, there has been a source of great upset and hurt from many of the migrants who have come from Vietnam to South Australia, and that hurt has also been experienced profoundly by the Governor. While those things are fresh in the minds of so many people in South Australia, I think that we can also accept that there is a shared future for us in the mutual interests not only of the people of Vietnam but also of the people of South Australia, and in particular those Vietnamese people in South Australia who have made a life for themselves here and who are creating businesses and activity and prosperity for the South Australian community.
It was fantastic to see a great local South Australian Vietnamese man starting a business, selling his produce into Vietnam. The very fruits and vegetables that he would have learnt to grow in Vietnam—or his parents—are now being sold back into Vietnam.
Mr Whetstone interjecting:
The SPEAKER: The member for Chaffey is warned for a second and a final time. The deputy leader.