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The Andrews Labor Government is planning to double the value of Victoria’s goods exports to Latin America, double the number of Latin American students studying in Victoria and double the number of visitors to Victoria from the region.

Minister for Trade and Investment Philip Dalidakis will tonight launch Globally Connected: Victoria’s Latin America Trade and Investment Strategy, which will strengthen ties between Victoria and Latin America while boosting jobs, trade and investment in both regions.

“Latin America’s economies are growing and opening up to the world, while their middle-class also presents enormous opportunities for Victorian companies to enter new markets and access new customers. Our Latin America strategy will help Victorian companies deliver our products and services to new markets, while expanding and creating more jobs here at home.”

Minister for Trade and Investment Philip Dalidakis

Latin America’s growing middle class will see many opportunities for growth in the education, food, digital tech, tourism and professional services sectors.

Latin American student numbers have grown four-fold in the past decade, and the strategy outlines initiatives that will attract even more Latin American students to Victoria and encourage more Victorian students to study in Latin America.

This includes the inaugural Lopez-Lochert Scholarship that will see Victorian TAFE students travel to Chile in early 2019 to participate in vocational training courses delivered by Duoc UC.

The Labor Government will work with the Victorian TAFE Association to support the scholarship in its inaugural year, matched dollar-for-dollar by participating TAFE institutions.

The scholarship carries the name of Rafaela Lopez and Peter Lochert, two Victorians who have contributed greatly to the Latin American community in Victoria.

Victorian Trade Minister Philip Dalidakis presents certificates of recognition to Rafaela Lopez and Peter Lochert at the LATAM Dinner 2018

Companies with Victorian headquarters including BHP, Orica, SEEK and Carsales.com already have strong footholds in Latin America. The strategy will also support Victorian companies and institutions including Rubicon Water, Gekko Systems and Deakin University, which are already expanding in to the region.

The strategy builds on the Labor Government’s previous investments in Latin America – the opening of the Victorian Government Trade and Investment Office in Santiago in 2016 and support for LATAM Airline’s to start flying directly between Santiago and Melbourne.

A roundtable discussion was held at the LATAM Dinner 2018 which included: Richard Andrews (Chairman, Australia Latin America Business Council ALABC), Valeria Alvano (General Manager South Pacific -LATAM Airlines), Martine Letts (CEO, Committee for Melbourne) and Victorian Trade Minister Philip Dalidakis.

The Latin America Strategy, launched at the Australia-Latin America Business Council and Trade and Investment Victoria dinner in Melbourne, expands on Globally Connected: Victoria’s Trade Statement and complements the state’s strategies for China and India.

To view the strategy in full visit trade.vic.gov.au/for-exporters/regional-insights/americas.

Latin American Ambassadors and consular staff, as well as Trade Victoria Staff at the LATAM Dinner 2018