A recent visit to China by the Premier of Victoria and other key public officials has been supported by a number of key investment announcements, further strengthening the relationship between Victoria and China.
Significant agreements that were confirmed during the visit included;
- An agreement with Air China to increase Beijing - Melbourne flights from four times a week to a daily service from 25 October 2015.
- An agreement with Jiangsu and Sichuan Provinces to enable joint ventures in bio-medical research and new healthcare training programs for Victorian GPs and allied health professionals.
- An e-commerce agreement that will see Chemist Warehouse sell direct to Chinese customers via the Tmall website (a subsidiary of AliBaba).
- A renewable energy investment agreement that will create 200 new Victorian jobs, and a new manufacturing facility in Melbourne to build receivers for concentrated solar voltaic system.
The visit also resulted in the signing of an historic Cultural Exchange Agreement to facilitate the exchange of creative partnerships, festivals and collection loans, as well as staff exchange programs. This five-year arrangement will also see the creation of a Chinese film festival in Melbourne, complementing the successful annual Indian Film Festival. Victoria is the only Australian state to sign such an agreement with the national Chinese government, largely due to its strong reputation as Australia's arts and culture capital.
"Successful engagement with the China market is critical to the Victorian economy – it is our largest trading partner and is integral to our visitor economy with over 400,000 Chinese tourists visiting our state every year," said the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews.
"Boosting investment and two-way trade with China means jobs and opportunities for all Victorians."
China is Victoria's largest and fastest growing trading partner, with two-way trade in a broad range of areas valued at over A$20.5 billion in 2014-15. It is Victoria's top food and fibre export market, worth A$2.8 billion. In the last financial year alone Victoria welcomed more than 439,000 Chinese visitors, who contributed A$1.76 billion to the state's economy. China is also Victoria's number one source of international students, with almost 50,000 enrolments in 2014.