The Hon Philip Dalidakis MP - travel report - China, 12 - 21 May 2018


The Hon Philip Dalidakis MP


Trade and Investment
Innovation and the Digital Economy
Small Business

Countries visited

China – Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai

Date of travel

12 to 21 May 2018

No of official travel days
(including date of departure and date of return)
Number of accompanying Ministerial Staff1
Accompanied by spouse in an official capacityNo
Funding sourceDepartment of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
Air fares (including taxes and fees)$17,286*
Accommodation (including taxes and fees)$4,045*
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances)$2,615*
Travel cost for minister and staff$23,946*

*The above costs are not final and complete

Purpose of travel

The purpose of my travel to China was to meet with key high-level stakeholders from government, business, education, sport and technology sectors, to advance trade outcomes for Victoria. My travel allowed me to lead two large scale Victorian trade missions to Shanghai, as well as strengthen and foster relationships with stakeholders in the nation's capital, Beijing and Victoria's second sister-state capital Chengdu.

Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria 

During my visit to China, I participated in more than 24 meetings, site visits and events. These engagements allowed me to establish new connections in market and further strengthen existing relationships with key stakeholders across the region.

Whilst in China, I was honoured to witness the signing of multiple Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreements. These new agreements acknowledge the exceptional work that Victorian and Chinese companies are currently undertaking and recognises the mutual benefits that can be gained from future collaborations and exchanges.  


  • In Beijing, I met with DiDi Chuxing who are China's largest ride sharing company. I encouraged DiDi to choose Melbourne for its Australia and New Zealand headquarters, since Victoria is a prime location to develop, test and deploy a variety of innovative transport connectivity technologies. DiDi subsequently launched their ride sharing service in Melbourne on 25 June 2018.
  • During my meeting with the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), I was pleased to share that the Victorian Government will be extending the Study Melbourne Language and Internship Program in China. This partnership with CEAIE will enable us to use education as a platform to further foster people-to-people linkages between Victoria and China.
  • In my meeting with the Ministry of Education, I acknowledged the important role that Chinese students play in shaping our society and how these students will go on to become future ambassadors in promoting two-way friendly relations. I assured the Ministry of Education that Victoria is committed to providing the best student experience and setting the right conditions for student wellbeing. I also spoke about the significant measures that the Victorian Government has already taken to offer a safe and welcoming environment for all international students.  
  • During my meeting with Power China, I was briefed on their world class industry capabilities and the significant international projects that are currently underway. This meeting gave me the opportunity to strengthen our existing relationship, that has continued to prosper since Power China established their Melbourne based headquarters in 2014.  
  • I met with the Torch High-Tech Industry Development Center where I learnt about their vision and developments relating to 168 tech parks across China. These zones present promising opportunities for Victorian industry groups and universities who wish to take part in joint research and innovation incubation projects. Since my visit, Mr Zhang Weixing, Co-Director General of the Torch Center, visited the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources on 28 May 2018 to meet with Mr Justin Hanney, Head of Employment, Investment and Trade. Mr Hanney presented on Victoria's precinct development plans and discussed topics regarding our innovative bilateral cooperation.


  • In Chengdu I had the pleasure of being the first Victorian Minister to visit ANZ's Processing Hub and Innovation Centre. This facility is yet another great example of how Victoria is leading the way in global financial technology. I was encouraged to see the significant investment that ANZ has made in the West of China, as this will have a flow on effect, creating an array of opportunities for other Victorian businesses.
  • I met with the Deputy Secretary General of Sichuan where we discussed the exciting collaborations that have taken place since our formal sister-state relationship was signed in 2016. Notably, both of our jurisdictions have benefited in the areas of biomedical and pharmaceutical commercialisation, technology, agribusiness, liveability and education.
  • I also met with the Deputy Director General from the Sichuan Government's Department of Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs. We had a very positive discussion on how Victoria and Sichuan plan to balance the competing demands of economic development and the liveability of our regions.
  • During my meeting with the Vice Mayor of Chengdu, we spoke about the key sectors that support our economies and communities including education, biotechnology, liveability and technology. I acknowledged the importance of our relationship and how we will continue to enhance and share the benefits that it offers, in terms of trade, culture and people-to-people linkages. As my visit coincided with the tenth anniversary of the commemorations for the Wenchuan earthquake, I paid my respects to the people of the region and we spoke of the children who were orphaned as a result of this disaster.
  • I witnessed the signing of the MoU between the Victorian Government and the Chengdu High-Tech Zone. The MoU will enable Victorian companies to interact with more than 33,000 companies from China and across the globe who currently operate in the Chengdu High-Tech Zone.
  • I attended a networking dinner with key stakeholders and alumni where I promoted collaboration in priority sectors including trade, investment, education, agribusiness, new energy, healthcare, biotechnology, innovation, research and development.


  • I attended the Shanghai and Melbourne Business and Sports Roundtable with Asialink. We explored how different codes of sport can come together and collaborate on sports technology, innovation and medicine. I showcased Victoria's expertise and leadership as Australia's sporting and major events capital to high-level industry leaders and decision makers.
  • I witnessed the signing of a MoU between Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park and Victoria. This MoU will increase collaboration opportunities for our medical and biomedical technology inventors and companies. During this meeting the Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park offered Victorian companies a working space within their innovative and engaging facilities.
  • I led a Victorian Trade Mission to SIAL, China's largest food and beverage trade show. I was proud to see that Victorian companies represented 60 per cent of Australian exhibitors. SIAL provides Victorian companies with the opportunity to make long-term connections in the China market. Already, the immediate export sales have reached $1.2 million. Sales are expected to reach $5.8 million within the next 12 months and $14 million within the next 24 months.
  • I attended the second AFL match ever played outside of Australia for premiership points. The Gold Coast Suns versus Port Adelaide game attracted a sold-out crowd of 10,000 people and was televised to millions of Chinese and Australian viewers. The game was part of a multi-year deal made by the AFL to play in China. I was proud to promote Victoria within China's growing sports sector and strongly advocate for a Victorian team and the AFLW to play in China in the future. This sector in China is expected to be worth approximately $460 billion by the end of 2020.
  • I witnessed the signing of a MoU between Grain & Bake and China State Farm Agriculture. Grain & Bake are a fully owned and operated family business based at Moorabbin Airport in south east Melbourne. This new partnership is very promising, given that the two parties only met at the 2017 SIAL Trade Show.
  • I met with the China International Import Exhibition Bureau which is leading the planning of the Expo to be held in November 2018. I was briefed on the unique opportunities available to Victorian businesses and how they can develop new connections and strengthen existing trade ties. I have instructed my department to ensure that Victoria's world-class businesses will be on show at the exhibition in Shanghai in November 2018.
  • My official visit to China coincided with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's 2018 China Tour. I met with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra officials and recorded a piece to camera, in support of the tour that saw the orchestra perform in six cities in ten days.   
  • I led a Victorian Trade Mission to the China International Beauty Exhibition (CIBE) and attended the official event opening. CIBE is reported to be the largest and oldest beauty industry exhibition in China. This year's event attracted 493,856 visitors and featured 23 Victorian companies. Since participating in the exhibition, Victorian natural beauty company Natio reported a 4000 per cent increase in their WeChat followers and Aware Environmental confirmed that they negotiated a $1.2million deal.
  • During CIBE, I also witnessed an agreement between the Victorian Government and Australia Post that will speed up access to the Chinese market for Victorian businesses through Australia Post's joint venture with China Post - Sai Cheng Logistics International. As part of this agreement, Sai Cheng will offer Victorian businesses specialised rates across its range of supply chain solutions, including product registration, helping to reduce the timeframe from six to twenty-five months, down to three to six months. The agreement follows the Victorian Government signing an MoU with Australia Post in March 2016 to strengthen e-commerce trade with China.
  •  I also attended the CIBE Gala Dinner Awards, where I was proud to witness the following Victorian brands and individuals receive awards:
    • Milk & Co - China Outstanding Brand Award
    • Natio - Innovative Brand Award
    • Australia Post - Excellent Partner Award
    • Stone Drums -  Excellent Partner Award
    • Aware Environmental - Raw Material Innovation Award
    • Ego QV - Raw Material Innovation Award
    • Mr Steven Foo from Australia Post - 2018 Outstanding Person Award
    • Ms Catherine Cervasio from Aromababy - 2018 Outstanding Person Award

Next Steps / Follow Up

  • The VGTI in Beijing and the department will connect with CEAIE regarding four inbound delegations to Australia. They will support the inbound CEAIE delegations and assist in facilitating high level business meetings in Melbourne.
  • The VGTI in Beijing will liaise with the Ministry of Higher Education to assist in the development and facilitation of a visit for the Deputy Director General and Vice Minister for Education to Victoria at the end of 2018.
  • The Victorian Government will provide Power China with further information on the proposed Australian Education Centre project and precinct development plans that they expressed interest in.
  • The Victorian Government will offer to facilitate high level business meetings with potential partners in Melbourne for the Torch Center. This will allow Torch Center officials to witness the exciting commercialisation projects and dynamic start up entrepreneurial community that Melbourne offers.
  • The VGTI in Chengdu will work closely with Sichuan Department of Commerce to encourage more importers from Sichuan to participate in the China International Import Expo in Shanghai in November 2018.
  • The VGTI in Chengdu will provide Chengdu Hi-Tech Zone officials with more information on the AusBiotech Conference and encourage them to bring a business delegation to attend this event that will be hosted in Melbourne in 2019 and 2020.  
  • In partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Chengdu Foreign Affairs Office and Sichuan Airlines, the VGTI in Chengdu will explore the feasibility of bringing orphans from the Wenchuan earthquake to visit Victoria.
  • The Victorian Government will support and facilitate follow up business trips to Melbourne for the Sichuan Yazhouhengtai Tea Co and the Sichuan Hebang Group, in an effort to accelerate their investment plans in Victoria.
  • The Shanghai and Melbourne Business and Sports Roundtable with Asialink has already led to positive outcomes for Victorian business. Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Nutrigel signed an agreement to manufacture and export Chinese health products, in addition to an MoU that will see the International Rehabilitation Institute open a Chinese Clinic and Training Centre.
  • The Victorian Government will work with representatives from the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to encourage Victorian companies to participate in the inaugural CIIE in Shanghai in November 2018. The Victorian Government will also organise Victorian events around the expo to raise awareness of Victoria.
  • The Victorian Government will collaborate with the AFL to advocate for a Victorian team to play in the 2019 Shanghai match and for the AFLW to play in China in the future.

Page last updated: 3 August 2018