The Victorian Government has today signed a new deal with China under the Belt and Road Initiative that will help fast track cooperation in the key areas of infrastructure, innovation, ageing, and trade development providing more opportunities for Victorian companies and more Victorian jobs.
In another sign of the strong relationship between Victoria and China, Premier Daniel Andrews signed a Framework Agreement with China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). It follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2018.
The Framework Agreement will put Victoria on the fast track to unlocking the trade and investment opportunities in the BRI, helping to increase investment and create jobs in Victoria.
Under the agreement, which has been released publicly, Victoria and China agree to working closely together in the following priority areas:
- Infrastructure – with the shared objective of increasing the participation of Chinese infrastructure companies in Victoria and opportunities for Victorian firms in China, as well as in third countries
- Innovation – to explore cooperation in areas of high-end manufacturing, biotechnology, and agriculture technology
- Coping with Ageing – to build on successful cooperation in this field and explore opportunities to share capabilities through exchanges, collaboration or training initiatives
- Trade development and market access – to enhance two-way trade between Victoria and China in agricultural products, food, nutraceuticals and cosmetics.
Under the plan, a Joint Working Group will be set up to guide and facilitate the cooperation, which will be chaired by Premier Daniel Andrews and Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe of the NDRC.
Cooperation in these areas is already taking place, with discussions underway with Jiangsu Province about the potential for Victoria to help train the next generation of GPs for that region and for Victorian firms to partner with Jiangsu firms in international innovation precincts.
Encouraging discussions are also occurring to help deliver accreditation to Victorian abattoirs who are looking to supply beef and lamb into China.
Like the MOU, the Framework Agreement is not legally binding, but it is another example of the strength of the relationship between Victoria and China.
The Framework Agreement can be found at www.vic.gov.au/bri-framework
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Victoria is proud of its longstanding and valued partnership with China and this new Framework Agreement helps take it to the next level.”
“We don’t see China as our good customers, we see them as our good friends.”
“When Victoria and China signed the Belt and Road MOU in 2018, we committed to delivering tangible benefits for Victorians – with this agreement, we will do just that.”