Victoria’s Food And Fibre Sector Ripe For Investment

Victoria’s thriving multi-billion dollar food and fibre sector was on show to Japan’s top business leaders at a forum held today by the Andrews Labor Government for the prestigious Australia-Japan Joint Business Conference.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford delivered the opening address to the event, which showcased the best of the sector to a key trading partner – part of the Labor Government’s drive to boost food and agribusiness investment and create jobs for Victorians.

Exploring the state’s capability as one of Australia’s leading food and fibre producers, the forum gave the high-profile audience a look at what makes Victoria an attractive investment destination for international businesses.

Victoria is known for its highly skilled workforce, fast growing and multicultural population, close proximity and links to Asia, world-leading livability, and premium infrastructure.

Japan is Victoria’s third largest two-way trading partner and in 2015/16, Victorian food and fibre exports to Japan were worth more than $900 million with major export commodities including dairy, meat and animal feed.

Japanese agribusinesses are also expanding their presence in Victoria, like KAITEKI Fresh, which has opened a multi-million dollar hydroponic facility in Gippsland creating 40 new jobs.

There are more than 170 Japanese companies currently operating in Victoria, supporting more than 10,000 Victorian jobs.

The Food and Fibre export sector in Victoria is one of the state’s most valuable, worth $12 billion in 2015/16 and helping support the jobs of more than 193,000 Victorians.

The Australia-Japan Joint Business Conference is one of the world’s premier business events, attracting more than 200 of Japan’s business elite to strengthen the economic relationships between Australia and Japan.

This is the first year the Conference has been held in Melbourne since 2004.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“This is an amazing opportunity to strengthen ties with one of our most important trading partners and drive new investment that will create jobs for Victorians and grow export markets for our primary producers.”

“We’re working hard to make sure that more Japanese agribusinesses follow the lead of Yakult, Asahi, KAITEKI Fresh and Kagome by making long-term investments in one of the world’s leading food and fibre sectors.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Trade Phillip Dailidakis

“Victoria is leading the country in business and investment growth, but we need to think bigger to be bigger.”

“This week provides a great opportunity for us to show why Victoria is a magnet for global business investment and boost our already strong relationships with one of the region’s most dominant players.”