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Tuesday 19 April marked the launch of the Victorian Government’s new China Strategy. Outlining the key points of the document, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews highlighted how the renewal of the strategy provided a chance to refresh and consider some of the main changes in the Australian and Chinese economies. These include the introduction of the China Australia Free Trade Agreement, the booming south and south-western provinces of China, as well as China’s shift towards consumption driven growth.
The new strategy results from a collaborative process of engagement with a variety of organisations, including the Australia China Business Council, and while it is a document of many voices, it has a singular purpose to forge a deeper alliance between Victoria and China at a person-to-person, institution-to-institution, government-to-government and a business-to-business level.
The three themes of the strategy are deeper understanding, genuine connections and mutual prosperity. These are encapsulated in 6 central directions:
Additionally, the Premier expressed Victoria’s commitment to see:
Further, the Premier announced the government’s objective to work towards signing a sister-state agreement with Sichuan Province, as well as the intention to appoint a Deputy Victorian Government Business Commissioner to the Chengdu office to help deliver the partnership, not only for Sichuan but also for West and Southwest China. The state budget will also include a $66 million boost to Victoria’s engagement with global markets, as well as a $4 million boost for the Asia gateway to link businesses wanting to engage with China.
The Premier concluded by characterising the relationship as one of strength, purpose, trust, mutual benefits and understanding. He emphasised that the strategy is a solid step in a growing partnership and an important piece of work that will capitalise on our combined economic potential.