State Government of Victoria, Australia, commissioner Tim Dillon
KUALA LUMPUR, 24 AUGUST 2010 -- Australia's Victoria state government wants to boost collaboration with Southeast Asian governments and companies mainly driven by its advanced platform technology capabilities.
State Government of Victoria, Australia, commissioner Tim Dillon said there were increasing opportunities for trade collaboration with Southeast Asian organisations.
"Our platform capabilities have evolved from our industry research & development across sectors that include biotechnology, information technologies, manufacturing technologies, energy & environmental technologies, and design," said Dillon, speaking in Kuala Lumpur.
"These capabilities are also used in a diverse range of businesses, from pharmaceutical to mining, photonics, financial services, automotive, aviation and aquaculture to architecture," he said.
The Victoria State Government Business Office (VGBO) has 12 offices around the world, with Kuala Lumpur office acting as the hub for Southeast Asia, said Dillon. "VGBO has always been active in Southeast Asia. We have started to see a growth in trade and investment and the opening of our Kuala Lumpur office more than 18 months ago was a strategic decision to enhance that growth."
Strengths in innovation
"While the state cannot compete on the global stage in terms of labour costs, we can offer our strengths in design and technology innovation," said Dillon.
He added that the state of Victoria contributed 25 per cent to Australia's gross domestic product (GDP). In 2010, national GDP is US$983 billion, with Victoria contributing about US$210 billion. Just as a comparison, Malaysia's GDP is US$207 billion, while Singapore's is US$163 billion.
Victoria's population is about six million people, with 3.8 million living in Melbourne, said Dillon. The most recent Victoria economic indicators show a growth rate revised up 0.2 per cent to 2.5 per cent for 2009-2010, buoyed up by a strong banking policy.
In 2009, 115, 800 new jobs were created in 2009, helped by the state's reliance on a diversified economy around the services and manufacturing sectors, which makes for a stronger position in challenging times, he said. Every week a thousand people move to Melbourne, which continues to be ranked favourably as one of the best cities in the world for expatriates to live in.
Dillon said that among hi-tech companies in the state were 500 aerospace firms that employed about 22,000 employees. Along with a growing number of graduates in technology and aerospace, Melbourne is the largest footprint outside of the US for Boeing.
However, the food industry remains the largest single industry in Victoria with about 144,000 people, he said. This sector supplies 30 per cent of the nation's food and indeed 30 per cent of the world's dairy products come from the state.
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