Victoria and Jiangsu commit to future partnerships while affirming 35-year friendship
On July 28th, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine attended the 15th meeting of the Victoria-Jiangsu Joint Economic Committee (VJJEC) in Melbourne and officially signed the minutes of the meeting.
The Vice Governor of Jiangsu Province, Mr Shi Heping, is in Melbourne accompanied by more than 60 senior government and business leaders – one of the largest trade delegations from Jiangsu to visit Victoria.
The meeting is the cornerstone event of the Victoria-Jiangsu Festival celebrating Victoria’s 35-year Sister-State relationship with Jiangsu, which was officially marked in April this year. It brings together government leaders to reflect on progress to date, and develop new opportunities and partnerships in key economic and cultural areas.
“The Victoria-Jiangsu Joint Economic Committee is the foundation of our economic relationship, reaffirming economic ties and securing links in higher education, government and private industry through exchanges, agreements and expos,” Dr Napthine said.
The minutes of the VJJEC meeting commit Victoria and Jiangsu to focus on key areas for collaboration over the next two years. These areas include culture, education, food and agriculture, information communication technology and biotechnology, sustainable urban design, tourism and transnational e-commerce.
Areas for cooperation outlined in the minutes include:
establishing the Victoria-Jiangsu Regional City Alliance;continuing economic cooperation;collaboration through forums, exhibitions and business matching events;establishing a two-way civil servant exchange program to commence in 2015;expanding the Victoria-Jiangsu Business Placement program;committing to a new healthcare cooperation agreement between Jiangsu Provincial Commission of Health and the Victorian Department of Health; andsupporting deeper cooperation between state cultural institutions and other cultural exchanges through an agreement between Jiangsu Provincial Cultural Department and Arts Victoria.
The minutes also recognise successful partnerships between Victoria and Jiangsu since the last VJJEC meeting, which was held in Nanjing in 2012
as part of the Victorian Government’s Super Trade Mission to China.
These include high level diplomatic visits; economic cooperation such as the commencement of the Victoria-Jiangsu Business Placement program; the Jiangsu-Victoria ICT seminar event; new sustainable urban design projects; and education and training partnerships such as the official opening of the Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate School in Suzhou and the Hamer Scholarship program.
Since 2011, the Victorian Coalition Government has conducted nine trade missions to China, involving 900 Victorian businesses and
organisations across 20 Chinese cities and generating $2.3 billion in export sales.
New Victoria-Jiangsu alliance to promote investment and growth
Premier Denis Napthine today welcomed the launch of the Victoria-Jiangsu Regional City Alliance that will enhance ties between regional cities in Victoria and Jiangsu.
The alliance was launched as part of Victoria-Jiangsu Festival commemorations marking the 35th anniversary of Victoria’s sister-state relationship with Jiangsu.
The Vice Governor of Jiangsu Province, Mr Shi Heping, is in Melbourne accompanied by 70 senior government and business leaders – one of the largest trade delegations from Jiangsu to visit Victoria.
“The Regional City Alliance is a joint initiative between the Jiangsu Provincial Government and the Victorian Government that will strengthen links between complementary Victorian and Jiangsu cities, and promote ongoing prosperity and growth,” Dr Napthine said.
“This alliance will position regional cities across Victoria and Jiangsu to take advantage of emerging economic and cultural opportunities between our state and province. I envisage that, at the end of the next 35 years of our relationship, every city in Victoria and Jiangsu will share bonds of friendship as deep as those we celebrate this week between our state and province.”
Dr Napthine said that the Regional City Alliance will build stronger relationships and create investment opportunities, with mayors and CEOs from the regional municipalities of Bendigo, Geelong, Horsham, Latrobe, Shepparton, Mildura, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, and Wodonga attending the event.
By expanding upon Victoria and Jiangsu’s existing relationship, the alliance will provide a platform to help improve economic outcomes between regional cities through:
mutual visits at the municipal level;economic and trade exchanges; andregular symposiums, forums and exhibitions to highlight industry sectors and areas of competitive advantage.
As part of the alliance, Dr Napthine witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Regional Development Victoria and the Jiangsu Foreign Affairs Office as the two coordinating agencies.
Dr Napthine also witnessed the signing of an MOU between the City of Greater Geelong’s Enterprise Geelong and the Jiangsu Development and Reform Commission.
“This MOU between the City of Greater Geelong’s Enterprise Geelong and the Jiangsu Development and Reform Commission will help to promote bilateral investment in advanced manufacturing, services, tourism and agriculture,” Dr Napthine said.
“Regional cities such as Geelong are important hubs for Victoria’s agricultural production, resources and manufacturing sectors.”
Dr Napthine said Victoria’s network of sophisticated and vibrant regional cities, including Geelong, provided a unique platform for future growth.
“Our regions are an important strategic economic asset for Victoria, with around 60 per cent of population growth in regional Victoria over the last decade occurring in regional cities,” Dr Napthine said.
“The benefit of Victoria and Jiangsu’s city-to-city relationships are already evident in the success of existing sister-city relationships.
“Geelong shares strong links with Jiangsu’s Lianyungang, and this partnership is complemented by geographic and economic similarities between the two cities.”
As part of the 2014-15 State Budget, the Napthine Government is supporting a stronger regional Victoria by investing $1.2 billion in new infrastructure to drive jobs growth, including in Geelong.
Since 2011, the Victorian Coalition Government has conducted nine trade missions to China, involving 900 businesses and organisations across 20 Chinese cities, and generating $2.3 billion in export sales.