Statement on Australia-Kaohsiung Cooperation
Representative Jenny Bloomfield, Australian Office
15 November 2021
Australian Representative Jenny Bloomfield visited Kaohsiung to promote Australia’s partnership with southern Taiwan and with Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second largest city – a vibrant port city and important centre for industry, advanced manufacturing, tourism, education and maritime affairs.
The Australian Office and the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts also partnered to host a reception marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Australian Office and launching the ‘Australia-Taiwan Friendship Year’ in Kaohsiung.
The Australian Office was proud to support two flagship events in Kaohsiung this year: the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts’ Pan-Austro-Nesian (PAN) Festival, which included works by Indigenous artists from Australia, Taiwan and across the region; and the Kaohsiung Film Festival, which featured classic Australian films by Academy Award-winning director Peter Weir, as well as new Australian releases. We look forward to further in-person arts and cultural exchanges, such as our previous collaboration on the Sydney Dance Company’s performance at Kaohsiung’s Weiwuying in 2018, when international travel returns to normal.
Australia and Kaohsiung share long-standing and mutually beneficial ties across diverse fields including education, energy and resources, and arts and culture, and particularly Indigenous culture. Kaohsiung and Brisbane have been sister cities since 1997, and Kaohsiung is the birthplace of many Taiwanese Australians. Countless young people from Kaohsiung have also studied in Australia or visited under the Working Holiday Maker Program.
In Kaohsiung, Representative Bloomfield was pleased to visit Taiwan’s steel company, CSC Group, to discuss our long-standing resources cooperation. Australia is Taiwan’s largest provider of iron ore and other minerals and energy, most of which enter Taiwan through Kaohsiung’ s port. CSC is a significant investment partner in Australia’s resources sector, and we look to cooperate further as we transition to low emissions technologies, such as hydrogen and green steel.
Representative Bloomfield also welcomed the important role Kaohsiung firms are playing in the development of Australia’s circular economy, including under the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund.
With more than 18,000 enrolments annually, Australia is the second most popular overseas study destination for Taiwanese students, including from Kaohsiung, and eight Kaohsiung universities have established partnerships with Australian universities. Australia will be a natural partner in helping Kaohsiung and Taiwan achieve their Bilingual Nation 2030 goals, with our world-class universities and Vocational and Education Training and expertise.
In this Olympic year, we are proud of the record-breaking performances of Australian and Taiwanese athletes in Tokyo, and remember Kaohsiung’s successful hosting of the 2009 World Games at which more than 160 Australian athletes competed. We look forward to welcoming Taiwanese athletes and spectators to the Brisbane Olympics in 2032.
We also congratulate Kaohsiung for being selected to host WorldPride 2025. This is the first time the festival will be held in East Asia, and highlights Taiwan’s regional leadership in advancing LGBTQIA+ rights and human rights. Sydney will host WorldPride in 2023.
Kaohsiung is also committed to smart city transformation, industrial transformation, and to promoting the Asia New Bay Area Innovation Hub. Australian cities continuously engage proactively with Kaohsiung through events such as the Asia Pacific Smart Cities Summit, a biennial event founded by Brisbane City Council that drives international collaboration across our region. Kaohsiung hosted the Summit in 2013 and received a delegation of 80 government, business and industry leaders from Brisbane, led by the Lord Mayor.
Australia is a major supplier of premium food including beef, seafood, grain and other agricultural products, and we have cooperated on COVID prevention materials, with Kaohsiung-based Australian company Manildra supplying industrial and food grade ethanol to Taiwan.
Australia and Kaohsiung are also partners in the tourism, conferences and exhibitions sector. An Australian architectural firm designed Kaohsiung’s Exhibition and Convention Centre, which opened in 2014; and Australia has partnered with Brogent Technologies to provide i-Ride technology to amusement venues in Australia and Taiwan.
During her visit, Representative Bloomfield discussed with Mayor Chen Chi-mai and others opportunities for strengthening cooperation in these and other fields, including trade and investment; business development; agricultural research; Indigenous links; oceans, maritime affairs and the environment; COVID, health and biotechnology; and tourism and creative industries. The Australian Office looks forward to working together with the Kaohsiung City Government and our other partners in Kaohsiung to advance our shared goals.