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Victoria to tap into Latin American Opportunities

Industry and Trade Minister Jacinta Allan today launched the Brumby Labor Government’s vision for building trade, investment and cultural links with the fast-growing and emerging economies of Latin America.

Ms Allan said Latin America and Victoria: A Vision for Growing Trade, Investment and Cultural Links set a clear direction for strengthening trade and investment links with the region, to boost exports and create new Victorian jobs.

“With a population of 574 million people and a combined GDP of $6 trillion, the 20 countries that make up Latin America offer vast and largely untapped potential for Victorian businesses,” Ms Allan said.

“Over the past three years our Government has intensified trade and investment focus on Latin America, commissioning independent research and sponsoring a number of high-level delegations to the region.

“As a result, we’ve identified opportunities for Victorian organisations in six key areas, including international education; urban planning; major events and sport; mining and mining services; agribusiness and biotechnology; and green technologies,” she said.

Ms Allan said key actions in the statement included:

  • Establishing an International Exchange Scholarship program to enable up to 10 students from Latin America to study in Victoria in 2011, as well as up to 10 students from Victoria to study in Latin American countries;
  • Supporting a dedicated series of trade missions to capitalise on opportunities across the six focus sectors highlighted in the statement;
  • Hosting an annual Latin American Roundtable to discuss new opportunities for trade and investment and partnerships with Latin America;
  • Locating a Victorian Government Representative in Latin America to help bring jobs and investment to Victoria and also provide in-market intelligence on trade and investment opportunities to Victorian firms wishing to invest in Latin America; and
  • Running a series of six ‘Doing Business in Latin America’ seminars to assist businesses seeking to begin doing business or expand current activities with Latin America.

Ms Allan said the Brumby Labor Government would also continue to work with Melbourne Airport and relevant stakeholders on opportunities to increase the number of direct flights between Victoria and Latin American countries.

“On top of that we will conduct further research to strengthen the local international education sector’s understanding of the opportunities in Latin America and continue to work with the Commonwealth on a range of measures to improve business relations,” Ms Allan said.

Two-way trade between Victorian and Latin America increased by 66 per cent over the 5 years to December 2009, to reach $1.6 billion per annum.

From the Minister for Industry & Trade
Friday, 29 October 2010
For Further information: www.diird.vic.gov.au/latin-america/home

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