|Minister||The Hon Daniel Andrews MP|
|Portfolio||Premier of Victoria|
|Countries visited||People's Republic of China|
|Date of travel||13 to 18 May 2017|
|No of official travel days (including date of departure and date of return)||6|
|Accompanying ministerial staff||Christina Dickinson, Director of Policy|
Lisa Maksimovic, Press Secretary
Naomi Nugraweni, Senior Advisor
Marty Mei, Multicultural Affairs Advisor
Elida Jaksic, Senior Advisor
|Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity||No|
|Funding source||Premier's Private Office and the Department of Premier and Cabinet|
|Airfares (including taxes and fees)||$31,454.36|
|Accommodation (including taxes and fees)||$13,463|
|Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances)||$8,161|
|Travel cost for minister and staff||$53,078|
|Are the above costs final and complete?||Yes|
Purpose of travel
From 13-18 May 2017, I travelled to China to visit Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. I was the only subnational leader from Australia to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing.
The visit also aligns with my commitment to visit China every year and the Victorian Government’s vision for Victoria to become China’s gateway to Australia.
The Belt and Road Forum was China’s highest profile economic and diplomatic event of the year, hosted by President Xi Jinping – over 1,500 delegates from over 130 nations attended the event, including 29 foreign heads of state and government leaders, and the heads of the UN, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria
This visit continued to build on the significant relationship we have fostered with China through my annual visits and Ministerial visits.
Victoria’s invitation to the BRF was confirmation of Victoria leading Australia in engagement with China, and a culmination of Victoria’s investment in building enduring relationships and partnerships with China, both at the national and sub-national level.
Benefits of the trip to Victoria include:
- positioning Victoria for future Belt and Road Initiative opportunities and promoting Victoria’s leadership and achievements in engaging with China to world leaders;
- promoting Victoria as a trusted partner for trade, investment and cooperation in priority areas, including infrastructure, health and medical research, and innovation and design;
- positioning Victoria’s innovation and life sciences sector for sustained future growth by renewing the focus of the Victoria-Shanghai relationship to target collaboration in these sectors; and
- further strengthening Victoria as Australia’s cultural capital and a global leader in design through a partnership with the Business of Design Week in Hong Kong.
Belt and Road Initiative Forum
Attending the Belt and Road Forum positioned Victoria to engage in future Belt and Road Initiative opportunities and promoted Victoria’s leadership and cooperation with China to world leaders.
I represented Victoria as the sole Australian State Government attendee at the Belt and Road Forum, and delivered a speech at the Infrastructure Connectivity Thematic Session showcasing Victoria’s strengths in engaging with China, Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) and infrastructure design and delivery.
These strengths were also highlighted in my meeting with the Vice Chairman of the National Reform Development Commission (NDRC), Mr Lin Nianxiu, to build on the MOU I signed with NDRC Chairman Mr He Lifeng early this year to collaborate on infrastructure design and delivery, including through PPP models.
Trade and Investment
I promoted Victoria as a trusted business and investment partner, emphasising our longstanding connections with China, strong economy and international connectedness to key markets. Key trade and investment engagements included:
- Meeting with President of ChemChina, Mr Yang Xingqiang, to acknowledge Qenos’ ongoing investment in the Victorian manufacturing industry.
- Meeting with Vice Chairman of China Rail Rollingstock Corporation, Mr Xi Guohua, to deepen the relationship with a key investor in Victoria’s train network.
- Attending a luncheon with Fuwah International Group and a number of significant Chinese investors to promote Victoria as an attractive investment destination.
- Meeting with the Chairman of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, Dr Xiao Yaqing, to establish ties with one of the most influential executives in the Chinese Government in regards to state-owned enterprises.
- Hosting an investment luncheon with around 50 senior business representatives from
Hong Kong to promote Victoria as an attractive investment destination.
- Meeting with the Group Managing Director of Cheung Kong Infrastructure Group,
Mr Kam Hing Lam, to demonstrate Victoria’s support for foreign direct investment to one of Victoria’s repeat investors.
Innovation and Life Sciences
I positioned Victoria’s innovation and life sciences sector for sustained future growth through a series of meetings and events, including:
- Announcing a new multimillion dollar research and development partnership between Monash University and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China for Monash to develop components of China’s first locally manufactured passenger aircraft, the Comac C919, and witnessed a training MOU between the two organisations on personnel exchange.
- Meeting with the Mayor of Shanghai to establish a personal connection with the new Mayor of the commercial and financial centre of China, and renewing the focus of the Victoria-Shanghai relationship to target collaboration in innovation and life sciences.
- Hosting an investment luncheon with around 30 key senior representatives from health and medical research organisations to promote Victoria’s strengths in life sciences.
- Witnessing the signing of an MOU between the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct and the Shanghai Institute of Medical Quality, to enable the sharing of expertise in health care and patient safety, with a focus on cancer, and to support investment in Victorian technology development.
I further strengthened Victoria as Australia’s cultural capital and a global leader in design through events including:
- Announcing Melbourne as partner city for the 2018 Business of Design Week in Hong Kong, and witnessing the signing of a Letter of Intent between the Victorian Government,
the Hong Kong Design Centre and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to enact the partnership.
- Meeting with Chief Executive-Elect of the Hong Kong SAR, the Hon Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, to deepen connections between Victoria and Hong Kong in design, innovation and public sector exchange.
Importance of China to Victoria
As Victoria’s largest trading partner, a major destination for services exports, and a growing source of investment, China is a key focus of Victoria’s international engagement activity:
- In 2015-16, two-way merchandise trade with China accounted for 24.7% ($23.3 billion) of total trade
- China is the leading source of international students in Victoria with 68,179 Chinese international students enrolled in Victorian schools and tertiary institutions in 2016 (an 18% increase year-on-year)
- China is the leading source of international tourists to Victoria with 570,500 visitors for the year ending March 2017, up 7.3% on 2015-16
- China is the largest market for Victoria’s premium food and fibre with exports to China worth $3.1 billion in 2015-16, up 10 per cent on 2014-15
- China is one of Victoria’s fastest growing markets. Exports to China grew 40% from 2010-11 to 2014-15
- Chinese people and culture are an integral part of Victorian society with 6.5% of Melbourne’s population reporting Chinese ancestry, and strong historical links to Victoria
China’s positive global economic outlook and policy settings will continue to drive Victoria’s trade and investment growth. There is a strong alignment between Victoria’s strengths and China’s development plans, including in areas such as life sciences and medical technology, new energy, advanced manufacturing, infrastructure and design. These were key areas of focus for building collaboration, and trade and investment during this visit.
Following my successful visit, a number of actions have commenced and will continue to be progressed. These include:
- Working with the NDRC to host a reciprocal Public Private Partnerships Infrastructure Forum in Victoria
- The Special Minister of State will travel to Hong Kong in July to progress public service training and collaboration opportunities and partnerships in design
- More than 30 Victorian companies will travel to the 2017 Business of Design Week in Hong Kong, and the Victorian Government will host delegations from the Hong Kong Design Centre this year
- Victoria will host a number of reciprocal visits from senior representatives of Chinese partners, including Fuwah International Group, ChemChina and Cheung Kong Infrastructure Group, which will facilitate deepening collaboration
- COMAC officials will visit Melbourne in July to explore partnerships with Victorian companies to service the new C919 when they commence flights across the Asia Pacific region
Reviewed 24 January 2019