Victorian businesses will have greater opportunities to export to Europe and connect with international investors through a new Victorian Government Trade and Investment office to open in Paris in coming days.
Minister for Trade and Investment Tim Pallas today announced the new office in the French capital will be open for business in February.
Comprising one-sixth of the global economy and with an estimated nominal GDP of €16.6 trillion, the European Union is one of the world’s economic superpowers and a key trade partner for Victoria.
With two-way merchandise trade between Victoria and the EU already totalling $17.3 billion in 2021/22, the additional European presence will drive new opportunities and raise the profile of Victorian businesses, particularly target sectors including life sciences, technology (edtech, sportstech and fintech), renewable energy and defence.
The office will also be working to attract new investment from Europe back into Victoria, helping to grow our state’s economy and create more local jobs.
European investment benefits for Victoria include German mRNA pioneer BioNTech’s decision late last year to enter into an in-principle agreement to establish a clinical scale mRNA manufacturing facility in Melbourne.
Export success stories abound, including Victorian skincare company Ultra which established a foothold in Europe with help from the Trade and Investment office in London and now exports to 20 countries.
Following an extensive recruitment process, Gönül Serbest has been appointed as the new Commissioner for Europe, commencing on 1 February.
With over 13 years’ experience in international trade, Ms Serbest has most recently held the position of CEO of Global Victoria, overseeing the government’s network of international Trade and Investment offices and leading the largest ever series of Victorian trade missions into global markets.
Reflecting the complementary nature of Victoria’s trade and investment strategies in driving jobs and growth, Danni Jarrett, the CEO of Victoria’s investment attraction agency Invest Victoria, will also become CEO of Global Victoria and oversee an integrated trade and investment agency.
Ms Jarrett has led Invest Victoria since mid-2020 having previously held leadership roles in the Victorian Government for a decade and has a record of securing investments that achieve sustained economic growth.
The new Paris presence will take the state’s Trade and Investment network to 24 offices around the globe.
International trade and global engagement are vital to creating jobs and growing the Victorian economy, with initiatives generating $627 million in export sales across 3,700 supported Victorian businesses in 2020/21.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Trade and Investment Tim Pallas
“Our new office in Paris will increase Victoria’s presence in the vital European market, creating more opportunities for businesses and growing Victorian jobs.”
“Victorian businesses are leaders in manufacturing and innovation, and our trade and investment network is helping to get their products in front of overseas buyers and investors.”
Reviewed 27 January 2023