Sunday, July 29, 2007
SC can nurture Queensland relationship better
PERTH, Australia, July 29, 2007 - - For a state that takes
pride in politeness and manners, South Carolina has done a
pretty poor job with its sister state of Queensland, Australia.
Fortunately, it seems like we're starting to get our act
in 1999, Gov. Jim Hodges signed a sister state agreement with
Queensland to cooperate, collaborate and boost business ties.
Among the areas of common interest were tourism, which is
big business in Queensland, ports, business development and
joint university projects that could spin off jobs.
At the time - just like now - the idea made good sense because
of our similarities and complementary conditions. Queensland,
which has about the same population as South Carolina, has
economic roots that relied on agriculture and natural resources.
And like our state, Queensland has been itching to be more
vibrant economically in the 21st century.
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We're really not in competition with the Queensland universities,"
explained Karl Kelly, head of SC Bio, a kind of Chamber of
Commerce in South Carolina to push biotechnology initiatives.
"This collaboration with Queensland makes the entities
stronger. We simply go [forward] faster by working together.
It's about building a bigger research engine."
So far, however, Queenslanders have been doing more of the
heavy lifting in the relationship, despite several successes.
Cases in point:
- Queensland has sent 10 official delegations to South
Carolina since 1999, including five led by its progressive
head of state, Premier Peter Beattie. South Carolina has
sent two delegations, neither led by a governor.
- In a spirit of goodwill, Queensland donated two koalas
to South Carolina's Riverbanks Zoo - a gesture that shows
a deep institutional and cultural commitment to the Palmetto
State. For Queensland, giving two koalas (and helping to
get two more) is a very big deal - - the cultural equivalent
of Americans donating a bald eagle or Hank Aaron giving
the baseball from his record-breaking 715th home run to
someone. What have we given Queensland? A decorated metal
palmetto tree, which certainly is a nice gift that now is
in a park in Brisbane [Queensland's capital city], but not
something with the emotional complexity of koalas.
"We really have never reciprocated to Brisbane to the
level that Peter Beattie has done here," admitted Clarke
Thompson, a Queensland enthusiast who directs export development
for the SC Department of Commerce. "If we can send a
high-level delegation of leaders to him, he would eat it up
and greatly appreciate it."
That trip, the first real official trade mission to Queensland,
is planned for late October. It may be led by Commerce head
Joe Taylor, or perhaps Gov. Mark Sanford, who renewed ties
with Beattie during a May visit to Columbia.
"The opportunities to South Carolinians to enhance their
import-export business in tremendous," said former state
tourism director John Durst, a long-time friend of Queensland.
One of the big positives of the sister-state relationship
is what these two small states can do for each other.
For South Carolina, Queensland offers a springboard for our
businesses to enter the Asian market. Queensland already has
significant ties with China, Japan, Korea and other countries.
As a partner, our business can work with Queensland's business
development offices in Asian countries to improve the balance
of trade to South Carolina. And because Queensland is culturally
similar (same language, same British heritage), it makes sense
for South Carolina businesses to have major offices in Brisbane.
Similarly, Queensland businesses need a friend in American
where they can enter the marketplace. Instead of locating
in California or some other state, they can use South Carolina,
with its strong port system, as a launching pad into the American
market - the world's richest.
The sister-state relationship has been somewhat ignored by
South Carolina for too long. Now that our economy is healing,
it's time for us to reach out to people who want to be our
friends so we can boost business on both sides of the globe
- and perhaps build more jobs here.
Next week: A look at budding collaborations between
South Carolina and Queensland that are starting to pay off.
You can reach Andy Brack, publisher of
SC Statehouse Report, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
artist Hutty showed city as it was
Heber Hutty (1877-1954), born in Grand Haven, Michigan, supported
himself by working in a stained glass studio in St. Louis
until 1907. He then moved east to attend the summer school
of the Art Students League in Woodstock, New York, where the
tonalist landscape painter Birge Harrison became his mentor.
In 1919, in pursuit of a warmer place to spend winters, Hutty
discovered Charleston, and until three years before his death,
he alternated residences between woodstock in the summer and
Charleston in the winter.
His oil paintings of Charleston streetscapes and lowcountry
gardens are impressionistic, a stylistic approach ideally
suited to the floral spendor of spring foliage. However, he
earned greater fame for his etchings and drypoints. As a seasonal
resident of Charleston from the 1920s through the 1940s, Hutty
is closely identified with the Charleston Renaissance.
Statehouse Report has partnered with USC
Press to provide readers with a weekly historical
excerpt about the state. Each excerpt, which is used
with permission and not for republication, is taken
South Carolina Encyclopedia, a 1,077-page book
published in 2006 with entries by almost 600 contributors
and edited by noted historian Walter Edgar. We hope
you enjoy this new feature.
Unlike his female art counterparts, Hutty rarely idealized
the city and its residents, choosing instead to show the decay
and decrepitude that lay around him. His proficiency with
drypoint -- an enhancement of the etching technique, which
created rich, inky lines -- complemented his rendering of
live oaks draped with Spanish moss, dilapidated old buildings
and animated African Americans.
-- Entry by Martha Severens, The
South Carolina Encyclopedia
Another great cartoon by Bill McLemore:
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