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DPC travel outcomes report: Gavin Jennings' 2018 travel to Japan

Information about costs, purpose and outcomes of Gavin Jennings' travel to Japan 14 to 21 July 2018.

Minister The Hon Gavin Jennings MLC
Portfolio Special Minister of State
Countries visited Japan
Date of travel 14 to 21 July 2019
No of official travel days (including date of departure and date of return) 7
Accompanying ministerial staff

Lindsay Rayner, Senior Advisor

Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity No
Funding source

Department of Premier and Cabinet

Special Minister's Private Office

Airfares (including taxes and fees) $11,775
Accommodation (including taxes and fees) $7,375.64
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances) $7,448.32
Travel cost for minister and staff $26,598.96
Are the above costs final and complete? No

Purpose of travel

From 14 to 21 July, I travelled to Japan to support the Victorian Government’s discussions with key Japanese investors in Victoria, and to promote the State as an attractive destination for ongoing and potential investment across a range of priority sectors including liveability, digital innovation, and resources.

I also accompanied the Treasurer in a number of meetings during his travel to Japan, including with senior Japanese investors, the Australian Ambassador to Japan, and with the Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ANZCCJ).

The purpose of my travel was also to learn about Japan’s advanced capabilities in the renewable energy and waste to energy sectors, to inform the State’s recently released Recycling Industry Strategic Plan.

Additionally, my travel was designed to further Victorian Government relationships with government officials actively involved in the Victoria Japan relationship, including Japanese Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Iwao Horii, following his visit to Victoria in early 2018.

Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria

Japan is Victoria’s third largest source of direct investment. Victoria is home to approximately
190 Japanese companies, with offices in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Investors cover a wide range of industries including food, agribusiness, mining, retail, automotive, energy, entertainment and construction. Japan’s business culture places a strong emphasis on long-term connections and cooperation, which are essential to maintaining positive relationships with key investors.  

As such, my meetings with the Australian Ambassador and ANZCCJ reinforced the value the
Victorian Government places on industry partners in-country, and provided an opportunity to update existing and prospective investors and stakeholders on Victoria’s capabilities in liveability, medtech, infrastructure and innovation.

My travel to Tokyo and Osaka deepened the state’s understanding of world-leading initiatives in the energy and renewable resources sector. This was achieved through meetings with municipal and national government parties including with:

  • the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, to receive a briefing on the country’s approach to renewable energy, and to thank the Japanese Government for its involvement and support of the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project
  • the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to learn about the city’s advanced waste treatment and waste to energy capabilities, and to make a site visit to one of the city’s key waste incineration plants, and
  • the Osaka Government, to tour the Higashiyodo Recycling Plant, and receive a briefing from the city’s Environment Bureau.

The engagements with government officials allowed Victoria to reinforce important relationships, including with Melbourne’s sister city, Osaka, during the 40th anniversary of the sister-city relationship.

The timing of my visit in particular allowed me to directly express Victoria’s condolences to senior counterparts following the recent earthquakes in Osaka, and convey the Premier’s sympathies for the flooding and landslides in western Japan.

I also participated in several meetings which gave deeper insight into Japan’s experience supporting digital innovation, creating smart cities, and researching artificial intelligence. An engagement with Japan’s Chief Information Officer, Mr Akihisa Miwa, in particular, allowed me to promote Victoria’s digital research and development capabilities, and Melbourne’s credentials as Australia’s technological capital.

Melbourne will host the Digital Innovation Festival from 24 August to 7 September 2018 and looks forward to welcoming a broad range of industry stakeholders to the event.

Next steps

Following my visit, Victoria is continuing to pursue commercial deals with key Japanese partners in the renewables and IT/electronics industries, with announcements anticipated later in 2018.

In addition, Melbourne will host the Digital Innovation Festival from 24 August to 7 September, along with the C2 conference from 17 to 19 October; key partners from Japan are expected to attend these events, which will provide opportunity for further dialogue. 

The Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) office in Tokyo will also will maintain contact with all partners to pursue additional investment, reciprocal travel and partnership opportunities.