The Hon. Jaala Pulford MLC – travel report, China, Indonesia and Singapore, September 2016

Minister The Hon Jaala Pulford MLC
Portfolio Minister for Agriculture
Minister for Regional Development
Deputy Lead of the Government in the Legislative Council
Countries visited China, Indonesia and Singapore
Date of travel 19 September to 28 September 2016
No. of official travel days
(including date of departure and date of return)
Number of accompanying ministerial staff 1
Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity No
Funding for the overseas trip was paid by (list department/s or agency) Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR)
Air fares $16,440.78
Accommodation $6,800.17*
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances) $4,075.47*
Travel cost for minister and staff $27,316.42*

*The above costs are not final and complete

Purpose of travel

I travelled to China, Indonesia and Singapore to lead the Regional Cities Alliance delegation to Jiangsu Province and progress key trade and market access priorities. The travel program also provided an opportunity to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders to develop further trade and investment prospects for Victoria.

Benefits of travel to the state of Victoria

  • Strengthened Victoria's regional city linkages with Jiangsu Province to broaden and enhance the sister state relationship between Victoria and Jiangsu.
  • Progressed key market access priorities for Victoria in China and Indonesia including launching the new nectarine market access protocol in Shanghai together with Summerfruit Australia Ltd. and Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd.
  • Met with key Chinese e-commerce platforms including Alibaba and G-Fresh to strategically position Victorian premium food and beverage products to capitalise on the growth of online sales in China.
  • Supported a targeted dairy training and education program in Indonesia led by Dairy Australia and the Victorian Government to boost the demand for dairy products in key growth markets in South East Asia.

Key meetings / Next steps

I led a delegation of ten regional local government representatives to Nanjing to take part in the inaugural 'Regional Cities Alliance Dialogue' to enhance and broaden the sister state relationship between Victoria and Jiangsu. This initiative will provide the platform to ensure regional Victoria is more directly engaged and benefits from the strategic relationship Victoria shares with Jiangsu. To build on this visit, I announced funding for the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's 'Victoria-Jiangsu Business Placement Program', to enable Victorian businesses to be hosted by a Jiangsu company and receive intensive education and coaching while in the market.

The Victorian Government has been working closely with the federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR), Summerfruit Australia Ltd (SAL) and Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd (HIAL) to secure market access for nectarines to China. The launch event in China was the culmination of many years of proactive engagement and negations to secure this landmark agreement. The Victorian Government will continue working with the summerfruit industry to prepare growers and exporters to commence the first legal exports of nectarines to China from November this year. This preparation work will be supported by a targeted in-market promotional campaign in China to promote Victorian/Australian nectarines to discerning Chinese consumers.

I met with major e-commerce platforms including Alibaba, G-Fresh and Jiangsu's leading TV shopping channel, Enjoy Shopping to position Victorian premium food and beverage products to capitalise on the rapid growth in the sector. The Victorian Government has since signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Alibaba to underpin the government's agenda to drive increased exports and strategically leverage leading e-commerce platforms to achieve this.

I attended key meetings with Australia Wool Innovation (AWI) and Fonterra's China representative offices in Shanghai. Victoria exported over $1 billion dollars' worth of wool fibre to China in 2014/15 and the Victorian Government is committed to supporting this important trade. I am exploring opportunities with AWI to effectively position wool as a fibre of choice in China's burgeoning fashion sector. The Victorian Government is providing direct assistance to Fonterra to assist the rebuild of the Stanhope factory that was destroyed in December 2014. The new factory will be operational in early 2017 and have the capacity to process 45,000 tonnes of cheese, an increase of 50 per cent.

In Shanghai, I launched SproutX to a select group of influential Chinese agri-tech investors. The launch in China provided a timely opportunity to promote Victoria's credentials in fostering businesses to develop innovative solutions and technologies in the agricultural sector. China is Victoria's most valuable food and fibre export market, and an increasingly important source of seed capital. The Victorian Government has committed $1 million towards SproutX and will continue to seek synergies with international partners aligned to our export focussed agriculture sector.

In Jakarta, I met with Majelis Ulama Indonesia (MUI) to discuss Halal registration for Victorian exporters and the proposed new responsibilities of the Ministry of Religious Affairs. I also met with Indonesia's new Minister of Trade, Mr Enggartiasto Lukita to progress market access priorities for Victorian exporters including seed potatoes. The Victorian Government will continue to liaise and work with DAWR's Agriculture Counsellor to monitor any changes in market access conditions and progress key priorities to Victoria.

In partnership with Dairy Australia and Trade Victoria, I joined a targeted dairy training and education program in Jakarta designed to boost the demand for Victorian/Australian dairy products in South East Asia. The dairy industry is a major contributor to the Victorian economy and we will continue working with key stakeholders including Dairy Australia to increase Victoria's competitive position in global markets and support dairy exporters participation in major international trade shows.

In Singapore, I met with the Agricultural Veterinary Authority (AVA) to discuss the country's proactive approach to managing restricted breed dogs. I also took the opportunity to meet with Olam, a major investor in almond production and processing in Victoria's Sunraysia region. My department will continue to liaise with AVA to adopt learning's for the Victorian context and Olam with regards to supporting its major investments in Victoria.

Page last updated: 23 January 2017