Mr Tim Pallas MP – travel report – Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore, 8 to 17 January 2023

MinisterMr Tim Pallas MP

Minister for Trade and Investment

Countries visitedVietnam, Indonesia and Singapore
Date of travel8 to 17 January 2023 (inclusive)
No. of official travel days
(including day of departure and day of return)
10 days
Number of accompanying ministerial staff1
Accompanied by spouse in an official capacityNo
Funding for the overseas trip was paid by (list department/s or agency)Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions
Air fares (including taxes and fees)$19,875*
Accommodation (including taxes and fees)$10,387*
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances)$‭8,452‬‬‬‬*
Travel cost for minister and staff$38,714*

*The above costs are not final and complete

Purpose of travel

An economic mission to strengthen Victoria’s position in Southeast Asia as a trusted partner in education, trade and investment.

Engagement in Southeast Asia is increasingly critical to supporting Victoria’s economic growth with two-way trade between Victoria and Southeast Asia currently at record highs, surging by 79 per cent in the past five years to $18.9 billion in 2021-22.

The visit provided an opportunity to promote Victoria’s world-class educational institutions; highlight Victoria’s premium food and beverage products; and promote Victoria as a key investment destination.

Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Vietnam is an important market for Victoria as one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

I reinforced the longstanding and collaborative relationship Victoria shares with the country in what is the 50th anniversary year of the Australia-Vietnam bilateral relationship.

The benefits of my travel also included:


  • Engagement with WinMart, a major importer of Victorian produce and products, to discuss changing consumer trends and understand opportunities for Victorian exporters. I discussed the recent market access to Vietnam granted for summer fruit (peaches and nectarines) and future market access opportunities that will benefit farmers and exporters, including for honey, plums and blueberries.
  • Meeting with the Australian Embassy, Vietnam to discuss agricultural market access and Victorian Government priorities for agriculture to benefit Victorian exporters. I also discussed planned activities for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Australia-Vietnam bilateral relations in 2023.
  • Strengthening our relationship with distinguished Victorian Alumni at KOTO (Know One Teach One), a leading not-for-profit social enterprise that provides hospitality training to end the cycle of youth poverty. The training is provided by Box Hill Institute and I received valuable market insights from alumni from Vietel, HopeBox and the Ministry of Education.
  • Meeting with Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) regarding its relationship with Monash University and Monash University Malaysia. HUST is a top-tier education institution in Vietnam and has an innovative three-location transnational education (TNE) model for food science, which includes time in Malaysia and Melbourne. I attended a roundtable meeting with senior leaders from Monash University and HUST and identified opportunities for future education and research collaborations.
  • Meeting with VitaDairy to promote Victoria as an investment destination and discuss the company’s plans to expand its operations in Victoria.
  • Meeting with the President of Vietnam’s National Assembly for a bilateral meeting following his recent visit to Melbourne in December 2022. The meeting was an important opportunity to continue strengthening the relationship with Vietnam. The President requested continued engagement through business delegations and a possible business forum to be held in Vietnam in 2023.
  • Engaging with the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam to strengthen Victoria’s relationship with key industry and government stakeholders.

Ho Chi Minh City

  • Meeting with VietJet and attending a launch event to mark the announcement of direct flights to Melbourne, commencing by April 2023.
  • Visiting the Study Melbourne Hub and connecting with key education and industry stakeholders – Vietnam is a vital international education export market, sitting behind only China and India in terms of total students enrolled with Victorian institutions.
  • I also announced a two-year partnership between Victoria and the Australia Vietnam Leadership Dialogue (AVLD), which will see the Dialogue held in Melbourne in 2024 and provide an ongoing platform to continue strengthening the relationship between Victoria and Vietnam.
  • I was the first Minister to visit the Victorian Government Trade and Investment office in Ho Chi Minh City, after nearly two years of operation, due to the pandemic. The visit was an opportunity for me to receive a briefing on the office’s priorities and acheivements over the past two years, including support for over 100 Victorian exporters, establishing the Study Melbourne Hub and promoting Victorian food and agriculture exporters at recent trade events.
  • Meeting with the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee to advance activities under the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
  • Attending the RMIT Saigon Campus for a briefing and a roundtable on industry 4.0 and opportunities in supply chains, agriculture and education. The event was attended by education and industry leaders and identified several opportunities for collaboration.
  • Attending the Taste of Victoria Networking Event, which was hosted at the showcase kitchens of priority importer GoodFood. The event provided the opportunity to connect with priority buyers, retailers and industry leaders in the food and beverage space.

Jakarta, Indonesia

While in Jakarta, I continued to strengthen Victoria’s relationship with Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy and focused on advancing Victoria’s trade and investment relationship. The benefits of my travel also included:

  • Meeting with the Vice Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to discuss opportunities for partnerships with Indonesia’s SOEs who may be looking to expand into Australia; are seeking workforce training; and/or may offer opportunities for partnership with Victorian exporters. We discussed the need for skilled health workers and the opportunity for a Victorian education provider to establish in the Sanur Special Economic Zone to deliver training and to support the development of a trusted pipeline of skilled health workers.
  • Attending a reception hosted by the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, which was an opportunity to connect with key stakeholders in Victoria’s relationship with Indonesia and promote Victoria as a partner for trade and investment.
  • Meeting with a manufacturer of household products to discuss reinvestment plans in Victoria and to explore broader opportunities for Victoria to partner across the manufacturer’s parent company.
  • Meeting with priority importers and retailers who sell Victorian beef and lamb into Indonesia, gaining market insights for Victorian exporters in 2023.
  • Strengthening our partnership with Bukalapak, which is a significant investor in Victoria. I met with key members of the Board of Directors to learn more about the progress of Bukalapak’s Melbourne Tech Hub and upcoming projects focused on fintech and edtech that will benefit Victoria.


I met with investors, trading partners and government officials with a focus on investment and gained a deeper understanding of government policies that enable strong and inclusive growth in Singapore. The benefits of my travel also included:

  • Meeting with a multinational technology company to explore investment opportunities in Victoria.
  • Meeting with Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore with a portfolio valued at S$470 billion. It was agreed that we will continue to share insights on market trends, potential investment deals and strengthen the referral model between Temasek and Breakthrough Victoria.
  • Meeting with Meat and Livestock Australia’s Southeast Asia team and current Lambassadors in Singapore to discuss future plans for promotion in the market and support for Victorian exporters.
  • Identifying opportunities for expansion and trade opportunities for Victorian wines, produce and hospitality.
  • Receiving a briefing from KPMG on Singapore's respective policy frameworks for investment, trade, public housing and innovation.
  • Meeting with Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry to discuss shared opportunities in trade, investment and options for a bilateral exchange on key policy areas such as green economy, digital transformation, health and innovation.
  • Hosting a reception with the Australian High Commissioner to Singapore with key innovation and investment partners from Singapore. I also announced that Seventh Sense will establish an AI Hub in Melbourne.

Next Steps / Follow Up

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Continue to work with WinMart on promoting Victorian produce and arrange a buyer’s mission to Victoria to visit suppliers in 2023.
  • Maximise benefits of our sponsorship of the Australia Vietnam 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2023.
  • Support VitaDairy’s investment in an infant formula processing facility in Victoria. This includes site support, introductions to local supply chains and development of local talent pipelines.
  • Continue our strong engagement with the National Assembly of Vietnam and explore a business delegation visit to Vietnam in 2023.
  • Monitor VietJet’s entry to the Australian market and continue our support for strong aviation connections between Victoria and Vietnam.
  • Deliver the 2023 AVLD and prepare for the 2024 event in Melbourne, maximising the Study Melbourne Hub as a key point of contact for delegates and alumni.
  • Implement the 2023 Ho Chi Minh City Action Plan set out under the MoU, including a focus on smart cities, sustainability, education and investment attraction. Design a capacity building program to share our best practice in investment attraction, precinct development and fintech industry development.

Jakarta, Indonesia

  • Continue to work closely with the Ministry of SOEs to support the global expansion plans of SOEs.
  • Visit the APP Solaris site at Box Hill and continue to support investment decision-making, including provision of advice on renewable energy supply to the site and access to talent.
  • Develop options for a broader MoU with the aforementioned manufacturer’s parent company to support their business needs.
  • Continue the partnership with Bukalapak, supporting them in the current investment project and new business streams. Scope a new trade promotion pilot project using Bukalapak’s WhatsApp e-commerce tools.


  • Continue to support the investment plans and explore options to pilot an upskilling model for the multinational technology company in Australia.
  • Continue to support Temasek’s investment plans for Australia and share leads or co-investment opportunities.
  • Facilitate upcoming visits for Singaporean food and beverage businesses to support investment decisions.
  • Work with Enterprise Singapore to design a policy dialogue/forum between Singapore and Victoria, that brings together government, academia and industry. A project scoping document will be shared with Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry for his consideration.
  • Monitor opportunities under the Green Economy Agreement between Singapore and Australia.

Page last updated: 7 April 2023