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Interview: More Sino-Australian Exchanges to Take Place
More Sino-Australian exchanges are expected, as the Australian State of Victoria and Chinese cities have expressed hopes for closer ties on various fronts.

Lord Mayor John So of the city of Melbourne of Victoria State of Australia told Xinhua, as he, together with Premier of Victoria Steve Bracks, rounded up his week-long visit to the Chinese cities of Beijing and Nanjing, and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Sunday afternoon.

During the week, both sides have concluded a series of economic cooperative agreements at the 8th Victoria and Jiangsu Economic Conference, and the visit has culminated in the Victorian premier’s announcing the setting up of an economic office in Jiangsu Province, said So.

"With China having entered the World Trade Organization and the 2008 Olympic Games set to be held in Beijing, I hope that my visit to China will bring the two sides closer to bilateral economic cooperation between the cities.

"As reforms are also continuing in China, there are so many business opportunities emerging. We Australians, situated closer to Asia, have a geographical advantage," So said.

Originally from Hong Kong and being the first Chinese to head the city of Melbourne, So said he hopes that his existing relationships with China will act as a catalyst for new job-creating investments in Victoria, he added.

During the economic conference, So has preliminarily introduced Victoria's biotechnology research advancement in water and effluent treatment, he said.

He said the city of Melbourne has also noticed Nanjing city government's interest in participating in the three-month training program already conducted for civil servants of the municipality of Tianjin for the third time at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University. Each time, 20 government officials will attend tailor-made training courses relevant to the officials' portfolios.

On cultural exchanges, So said the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is set to stage its performances at Chinese cities, such as, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Nanjing and Wuhan, in late October and November.

(People's Daily August 19, 2002)

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