Hon. Mayor Phil Goff,
Sir Bob Harvey,
Mr. Chiu Yung, President of Fu Wah International Group,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to be here today to attend the Topping Off Ceremony of Park Hyatt Auckland. First of all, I want to thank President Chiu Yung for inviting me to this special auspicious event, for me to be able to meet my very good friends, Hon. Mayor Phil Goff, Sir Bob Harvey and many others. Almost Two years ago, I joined the then Prime Minister John Key and many other distinguished guests and friends for the groundbreaking ceremony of this project. Today the Hotel is about to be completed. Please accept my sincere congratulation for this substantial progress and my appreciation to the friends present here and in NZ for your support and help to the Chinese investment in NZ.
Park Hyatt Auckland, with its golden location in downtown Auckland, where you can enjoy the stunning views of the Waitemata Harbour and Auckland City, will soon be one of the landmark buildings in this beautiful city. Park Hyatt Auckland will surely become an important Early Harvest project under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. As you know, one belt one road is a road of connectivity of policy, trade ,financing ,infrastructure and people to people based on extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefit. Park Hyatt Auckland is just a good example of that category and is here to meet the need and demand of NZ infrastructure and to make connection of the peoples with each other. New Zealand was the very first Western developed country to sign the BRI cooperation agreement with China. This pioneering policy towards China has given strong confidence to many Chinese companies and investors to come to NZ for business opportunities. The success of Park Hyatt Auckland will be a great showcase of Chinese companies to invest in NZ.
Park Hyatt Auckland also represents one of the largest foreign investment in NZ tourism infrastructure. Tourism is one of the important pillar industries for New Zealand and also an important and fast growing area for China and NZ to have the cooperation. Currently, China is NZ' s second largest source of international tourists. Last year the tourists between our two countries reached 500,000 and are growing very fast this year. According to the latest figure, in Feb this year alone there were close to 70000 Chinese travelers to NZ. Now Both China and NZ are working together to reach the goal of one-million-personnel exchanges a year by 2020.This goal was set by the leaders of our two countries during President Xi Jinping's visit to NZ by the end of 2014. The year 2019 has been set to be the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, and will usher in a new historical stage for China-NZ tourism cooperation. Such tourism infrastructure projects as Park Hyatt Auckland will not only provide great convenience for foreign visitors and tourists to NZ, but also will have a very positive impact on tourist-related industries and local employment. With the advantages of financing and technology expertise, Chinese companies are willing and capable to participate in New Zealand tourism and infrastructure construction which enjoys huge potential in our cooperation.
It is my sincere hope that Fu Wah International Group will work together with its partners for a very successful completion of this hotel project, making contribution to the further development of New Zealand's tourism industry and China-NZ economic and trade ties. Thank you.