I would like to wish a very happy Lunar New Year to those celebrating around the globe, in countries all across the Asia-Pacific region, and of course to communities in the UK, and elsewhere.
As we celebrate the arrival of the New Year, we should also remember our achievements in the Year of the Horse. The UK enjoys strong relations with countries across the Asia-Pacific region, and our relationships with these countries go well beyond our important diplomatic ties and strengthening trade links. In 2014, we worked together to tackle numerous global challenges, improved policy cooperation in areas such as energy, low carbon, science and innovation, healthcare and sustainable development, and supported each other in the prevention of conflict in fragile states.
In the spirit of the Year of the Sheep with its connection to strong social relationships and teamwork, I also look forward to seeing our friendships grow even closer in 2015. I hope that more visitors, tourists, students and businesspeople will be encouraged to travel between our countries. More connections will lead to a deeper cultural understanding and respect between our countries, and I look forward to our friendship continuing to deepen over the coming year.
I hope that – wherever you may be – you enjoy the celebrations with your family and friends, and I wish you a successful, peaceful and prosperous Year of the Sheep!