Posted on 11. May, 2010 in News

Showcasing Victoria’s trade and economic strengths to the world and attracting potential new investment in the State will be central to Premier John Brumby’s eight-day trade mission to China and the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Brumby will visit Shanghai for Victoria Week at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and said it would provide unprecedented opportunities for local businesses to strengthen their links with Victoria’s largest trading partner and attract investments that create local jobs.

“China is Victoria’s largest trading partner, second largest export market and will be our biggest tourism market by 2014, accounting for 163,000 visitors in 2008/09, with growth of 322 per cent since 1999,” Mr Brumby said.

“It also accounts for Victoria’s second largest share of international students from the higher education and vocational education and training sectors, with more than 40,000 students enrolled in Victorian courses this year, a 23 per cent increase from the previous year. 

“Two-way trade between China and Victoria reached $13.57 billion in 2008/09. And China is an emerging source of foreign direct investment with major recent new investments in Victoria including Hisense, Suntech, Wuhan Iron and Steel Co (WISCO) and Sinopec.

“More than 40,000 people are expected to visit the Australia Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo each day and that’s why it is vital Victoria has a strong presence.

“We will showcase Victoria’s world-class capabilities in key areas such as information and communication technology, nano and biotechnology, sustainable urban development, education, tourism and the arts during a week-long program of events.

“Our focus will be on attracting investments that generate jobs, showcasing Victoria’s innovation and development strengths and boosting our reputation as a great state to live, work, study and travel.”

The Shanghai World Expo started in May and runs until October 31. More than 200 countries and 50 international organisations are participating with more than 70 million visitors expected.

The Victorian Government had invested $6 million towards Victoria’s presence in the Australia Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.

Mr Brumby will also visit the United Arab Emirates where he will officially open the senior school of the Victorian International School in Sharjah and key trade, investment and international education-related meetings with senior government officials. 

“Victoria and the UAE have an important relationship with total trade in goods worth more than $695 million. Our major export to the UAE is motor vehicles, accounting for $220 million in 2008-09 and almost 40 per cent of the total value of our exports,” he said.

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