Victoria eyes new trade partnerships with Southeast Asian nations

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Victorian Minister for Trade and Investment Tim Pallas is visiting business leaders and investment experts in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Singapore this month to establish important ties with major trading partners. 

The Southeast Asia tour, which will begin on 8 January, is part of the Victorian government’s efforts to drive job growth and provide new business opportunities. 

The two-way trade between Victoria and Southeast Asia is experiencing record highs, with an increase of 79 per cent in the past five years to $18.9 billion in 2021-22, the Victorian government said in a media release

Vietnam is an important market for Victoria as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. 

The Victorian export market generated over $961 million in Vietnam in the previous financial year, which marks an increase of more than 80 per cent since 2019. 

Pallas will visit business leaders in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City— Vietnam’s largest city where the Victorian government’s Trade and Investment Office and Study Melbourne Hub opened in 2021. 

Meanwhile, Pallas’ visit to Indonesia will focus on agriculture exports, technology, and education. 

Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest economy, with a population of more than 270 million people. 

The tour’s Singapore leg will zero in on the nation’s expertise in innovation and research and development and how Victoria can leverage these to attract new investment and drive exports. 

“We’re not sitting back and waiting for Southeast Asia to come to us – we’re making sure decision-makers in these important markets know about our first-rate products and investment opportunities,” Pallas said in the press release. 

“These are dynamic countries and we’re making sure their leaders know that Victoria is a kindred spirit,” he added. 

Victoria’s trade and investment program has backed recent Southeast Asian breakthroughs, such as Singaporean health tech leader Oncoshot’s move to enter the Australian market with a new headquarters in Melbourne. 

Singapore hydrogen technology company DiviGas is also planning to establish its manufacturing and corporate base in Melbourne, the company announced recently.