|Minister||The Hon Daniel Andrews MP|
|Portfolio||Premier of Victoria|
|Countries visited||People's Republic of China|
|Date of travel||25 to 29 April 2019|
|No of official travel days (including date of departure and date of return)||5|
|Accompanying ministerial staff||
Mr Adam Sims, Director of Media
Mr Marty Mei, Senior Adviser
|Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity||No|
|Funding source||Premier's Private Office and the Department of Premier and Cabinet|
|Airfares (including taxes and fees)||$29,317.32|
|Accommodation (including taxes and fees)||$2,231.95|
|Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances)||$5,715.25|
|Travel cost for minister and staff||$37,264.52|
|Are the above costs final and complete?||No|
Purpose of travel
From 25 to 29 April 2019, I travelled to China to visit Beijing and Nanjing. The purpose of this travel was to represent Victoria as the only Australian sub-national leader at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing, and to launch the 40th anniversary celebrations with our sister-state Jiangsu.
My travel aligns with Victorian Government priorities to cement Victoria’s reputation as China’s gateway to Australia, and demonstrates our commitment to strengthening the mutually beneficial relationship with our largest trading partner.
This was also my first official visit to China since signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to cooperate on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), providing opportunities to discuss how this can be leveraged to the greatest benefit to Victoria.
Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria
This Official visit, my fifth in five years, built on the significant relationship the Victorian Government has developed with China compounded through annual visits and cooperation across a range of sectors.
Victoria’s invitation to attend the second BRF, having attended the first in 2017, was confirmation of our reputation as the state leading Australian engagement in China.
Benefits of the trip to Victoria include:
- positioning Victoria for future BRI opportunities, particularly under the BRI MoU, and promoting our strengths and capabilities to key Chinese Government officials
- promoting Victoria as a trusted partner for trade and investment, and for cooperation in priority areas, including infrastructure
- further strengthening Victoria’s relationship with Jiangsu by launching the 40th anniversary celebrations of our sister-state relationship and meeting with senior Jiangsu Government leadership
- further strengthening Victoria’s reputation as Australia’s gateway to Asia and a global leader in Asia capabilities
Attended the Belt and Road Forum
My attendance at the BRF positioned Victoria as a leader in BRI engagement and provided a platform to explore Victoria’s future participation in BRI opportunities.
The BRF is one of China’s highest profile economic and diplomatic events, hosted by President Xi Jinping. The 2019 BRF was attended by over 5,000 delegates from across the world, including 37 national leaders.
I represented Victoria as the only Australian State Government attendee, promoting our strengths in infrastructure and liveability on a global stage and highlighting our capabilities to assist with China’s Greater Bay Area Initiative (GBA).
Key engagements at the BRF included:
- meeting with Mr Ning Jizhe, Vice Chairman of the NDRC, to deepen connections between Victoria and the NDRC and discuss opportunities for Victoria to participate in projects under the BRI and GBA
- meeting with Mr Zeng Peiyan, Chairman of China Centre for International Economic Exchanges and former Vice Premier of China, to position Victoria as a leader in engaging with China, and to promote Victoria as an attractive investment and business destination
- meeting with Ms Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of Hong Kong, to strengthen the relationship between Victoria and Hong Kong in infrastructure, including opportunities for Victoria to partner with Hong Kong on elements of the GBA
Strengthened existing partnerships
I deepened Victoria’s bilateral partnerships with Jiangsu Province, our sister-state of 40 years, through a number of high-level engagements, including:
- meetings with Mr Lou Qinjian, Party Secretary of Jiangsu, and Mr Wu Zhenglong, Governor of Jiangsu, to reiterate Victoria’s commitment to its sister-state relationship with Jiangsu and discuss plans for the 40th anniversary year, including the 17th Victoria Jiangsu Joint Economic Committee and Leadership Exchange (VJJEC)
- attending the launch of the 40th anniversary celebrations of our sister-state relationship with the Governor of Jiangsu, building on the relationships with Jiangsu leadership and announcing a reciprocal artist exchange between Victoria and Jiangsu
Following my successful visit, a number of actions have commenced and will continue to be progressed. These include:
- working with China’s Consulate-General in Melbourne to secure tangible outcomes for Victoria in the BRI, under our MoU with the NDRC
- hosting delegations from Jiangsu, including senior leadership, for the 17th VJJEC and
- 40th anniversary celebrations later in 2019
- launching the Victoria-Jiangsu artist exchange commemorating our 40th sister-state anniversary
- working to establish Victoria’s involvement in the GBA and promoting Victoria’s infrastructure and liveability capabilities
- continuing to engage with Chinese companies interested in assisting in the delivery of Victoria’s infrastructure agenda