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The Andrews Labor Government is bringing local businesses face-to-face with some of China’s biggest companies, showcasing the state’s fintech expertise and promoting Victoria’s food and fibre, engineering and professional services sectors as part of a ministerial trade mission to China.

Small Business Innovation and Trade Minister, Philip Dalidakis, together with 12 Victorian agribusinesses and 16 food and beverage companies, toured the headquarters of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and met with executives to promote Victorian products on the Tmall and Taobao platforms.

“We’re working closely with Victoria’s businesses to make sure they have all the tools and connections they need to trade with the world’s largest market. China is our most important economic relationship and biggest trading partner, strengthening that relationship will contribute to Victoria’s growing economy and create jobs.”

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis

The Alibaba tour was a chance for businesses to speak in person with executives from the multi-billion dollar company and see first-hand how operations are run on the ground.

Some of the businesses touring Alibaba in China are from Latrobe Valley as part of a Victorian Government led outbound trade mission that’s designed to boost the region’s economy, grow jobs and expand businesses by helping them break into new international markets.

Victoria’s strengths in financial technology and blockchain were also presented to the Zhejiang Fintech Association where Mr Dalidakis addressed more than 20 Chinese companies on Victoria’s advanced fintech ecosystem, as well as investment opportunities in the sector.

The Minister also announced that the Zhejiang Fintech Association will lead a delegation to Melbourne later this year to explore collaboration with Victorian companies in the emerging blockchain sector.

Building on its pledge to support Victoria’s businesses overseas, the Victorian Budget 2017/18 announced $1 million in extra funding to increase staff numbers in China’s five trade and investment offices.

China is Victoria’s largest two-way trading partner worth more than $23.3 billion and contributing to all of the state’s key industry sectors including international education, health, medtech and food and fibre.