On the afternoon of October 26, President Tsai Ing-wen attended a celebration marking the 40th anniversary of the Australian Office in Taipei. In her remarks, the president thanked Australia for supporting Taiwan's international participation, and stated that we will continue to work with our Australian partners to safeguard the region and uphold our shared values of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law.
A transcript of President Tsai's remarks follows:
It's a pleasure to join you all here today to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Australian Office, and to mark four decades of friendship between our countries and peoples. Today, we look back on all we have accomplished together over the past 40 years of transformation and growth. To mark this occasion, the Australian Office has launched "40 Years, 40 Stories," giving us an opportunity to appreciate what so many have done to bring our countries closer together. It is the people in these stories, and countless others, who have laid the foundation for the Taiwan-Australia friendship we enjoy today.
This is a relationship that is flourishing now more than ever, as we broaden our collaboration across many areas, particularly in trade and investment. Over the past five years, our bilateral trade has grown by an average of 10 percent year-on-year, while bilateral investment has increased 13 percent year-on-year. This impressive growth is testament to both our strong ties and our wide-ranging mutual interests.
I am confident that the partnership between Taiwan and Australia will grow even closer under the leadership of Representative [Jenny] Bloomfield. Since taking office this past February, you have actively worked to expand bilateral exchanges across the board. More than that, during the pandemic, you lent your full support to our frontline medical workers, and cheered on our athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics, demonstrating the deep bond between our two countries.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone across Australia who has come out in support of Taiwan's inclusion in the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership). By joining this trade bloc and negotiating a bilateral economic cooperation agreement, we can take significant steps forward in our trade relationship. Australia is already a key partner in our energy transition and path towards net zero emissions by 2050, as we work together to develop a more sustainable region for everyone.
Taiwan and Australia are both committed to upholding security, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific. At multiple significant events this year, the Australian government spoke up in support of our international participation and emphasized the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. I want to thank Australia for all its support. Taiwan remains committed to working with our Australian colleagues to safeguard our region and uphold our shared values of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law.
Neither our past accomplishments nor our future progress would be possible without the extensive people-to-people ties that our nations have built over the past four decades. Australia is a natural partner for Taiwan in academic and vocational exchanges. And I hope our bilingual nation policy will further benefit new generations of Taiwanese and Australians.
Thank you once again to Representative Bloomfield and your colleagues at the Australian Office for holding this event and highlighting the deep ties between Taiwan and Australia. I hope that it serves to inspire an even closer friendship between our countries and peoples over the years and decades to come.