He says they were both “young men, both spritely fellows” when they were first elected to Parliament in 2001.
Mr McGowan hits back at the opposition.
“When we came to government, the state economy was in the first recession in history,” he said.
“The turnaround in the state’s economy has been stark.”
Mr McGowan said his government had done more to turn around local jobs than any other government in history. He says there are headwinds, including problems caused to China’s economy by the coronavirus.
He disagreed with comments by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s chief economist that the state economy is in “survival mode”.
“I think the CCI should talk up the state’s economy,” he said.