|Minister||The Hon Daniel Andrews MP|
|Portfolio||Premier of Victoria|
|Countries visited||People's Republic of China|
|Date of travel||29 May to 1 June 2018|
|No of official travel days (including date of departure and date of return)||4|
|Accompanying ministerial staff|
Ms Lissie Ratcliff, Chief of Staff
|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)||$29,222|
|Accommodation (including taxes and fees)||$14,262|
|Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances)||$12,638|
|Travel cost for minister and staff||$56,121|
|Are the above costs final and complete?||Yes|
Purpose of travel
From 29 May to 1 June 2018, I travelled to China to visit Hong Kong and Nansha. The purpose of this travel was to progress relationships with key government officials and investors in Hong Kong, as well as to strengthen engagement with China in relation to infrastructure.
My travel demonstrated the Victorian Government’s commitment to building strong, productive and mutually beneficial relationships with our largest trading partner, and fulfilled my commitment to travel to China every year of this term of government.
Importance of China to Victoria
Victoria enjoys strong partnerships with China in areas ranging from education and tourism, to trade and investment. China is:
- Victoria’s largest two-way merchandise trading partner, with goods trade worth $23.4 billion
- the leading source of international students in Victoria with 80,137 enrolments from Chinese students, up 38 per cent over the past two years
- the leading source of international tourists to Victoria with 621,600 visitors in 2017, with growth of 27 per cent since 2015
- the largest market for Victoria’s premium food and fibre with exports to China worth $3.6 billion in 2016-17, up 24 per cent on 2014-15
- a significant source of foreign investment for Victoria, with Victoria receiving a quarter of Chinese investment into Australia.
Additionally, Chinese people and culture are valued part of Victoria’s multicultural society, with over 370,000 Victorians reporting Chinese ancestry as at the 2016 Census, an increase of over 45 per cent since the 2011 Census.
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.
Benefits of the trip to Victoria include:
- promoting Victoria as a trusted partner for trade and investment, and cooperation in priority areas, including infrastructure and health and medical technology
- positioning Victoria to pursue Greater Bay Area (GBA) initiative opportunities and promoting Victoria’s infrastructure development capabilities to national and subnational leaders
- further strengthening Victoria as Australia’s gateway to Asia and a global leader in Asia capabilities across the arts, education, policy and business.
Trade and Investment
I promoted Victoria as a trusted business and investment partner, emphasising our longstanding connections with China. Key trade and investment engagements included:
- witnessing Melbourne-based medical device company Compumedics sign a $130 million deal with China-based Health 100 to create a joint venture to commercialise Compumedic’s Somfit product and technology platform in China. The deal will create 20 high value knowledge jobs in Victoria. Compumedics and Health 100 had entered into talks after being introduced following my visit to China last year, where the parties met at a health and medical technology roundtable I hosted in Beijing to promote Victoria’s strengths in life sciences.
- meeting with significant investors looking to enter or expand into Victoria, including in the life sciences sector, to promote Victoria as an attractive investment destination.
I promoted Victoria’s infrastructure pipeline and capabilities through:
- hosting an Infrastructure Delivery Forum with 15 senior business representatives from across China to promote opportunities for Chinese infrastructure delivery firms
- meeting with Mr Leung Chun-ying, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of CPPCC, regarding opportunities for Victoria to participate in the GBA initiative, the creation of an economic region that combines Hong Kong, Macau and the nine cities of Guangdong’s Pearl River Delta
- meeting with Ms Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, to deepen connections between Victoria and Hong Kong in design and infrastructure, including opportunities for Victoria to partner with Hong Kong on elements of the GBA project
- visiting Nansha to view the assembly of the tunnel boring machines that will arrive in Melbourne in early 2019 to build the West Gate Tunnel and Metro Tunnel
- visiting MTR’s Super Operations Control Centre to learn from the company’s approach to rail network management in Hong Kong.
Education and culture
I further strengthened Victoria’s reputation as Australia’s gateway to Asia through events including:
- meeting with Mr Ronnie Chan, Trustee of Asia Society, and announcing that Asia Society will establish a new Centre in Melbourne, which will be the largest in the southern hemisphere and will build on our strong relationship with Asia through the arts, education, policy and business.
- visiting renowned craftsman Master Hui’s workshop to announce that work has begun on the new papercraft dragon for Bendigo’s Easter Festival, to be called Dai Gum Loong. The new dragon will replace Bendigo’s existing dragon, Sun Loong.
Following my successful visit, a number of actions have commenced and will continue to be progressed. These include:
- working with Asia Society to progress the establishment of a Centre in Melbourne
- working to establish the Victorian Government’s approach to engaging with the GBA initiative
- hosting a number of delegations from senior representatives of our Chinese partners, which will facilitate deeper collaboration. These include a possible high level biomedical research investment delegation.
- continuing to engage with Chinese companies interested in assisting in the delivery of Victoria’s infrastructure agenda.
Reviewed 28 January 2019