The Hon. Steve Herbert MLC – travel report, Malaysia and Singapore, May-June 2015

Minister The Hon. Steven Herbert, MLC
Portfolio Minister for Training and Skills
Countries visited Malaysia and Singapore
Date of travel 31 May to 6 June, 2015
No. of official travel days
(including date of departure and date of return)
7 days
Number of accompanying ministerial staff 1
Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity No
Funding for the overseas trip was paid by (list department/s or agency) Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR)
Air fares $13,904.94
Accommodation $4,033.94
Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances) $5,120.70
Travel cost for minister and staff $23,059.58

Purpose of travel

I travelled to South East Asia from 31 May to 5 June 2015, in place of Minister Somyurek, to support an innovation trade mission on behalf of the Victorian Government. The key purpose of my travel was to undertake a program of meetings with key technology stakeholders in Malaysia and Singapore and to lead a delegation of Victorian ICT companies to CommunicAsia, the premier ICT industry trade exhibition in South East Asia.

The mission was designed to promote awareness of Victoria's capabilities in ICT, health and medical technologies, and encourage positive industry and government relationships across the region.

The objectives were to:

  • promote increased awareness of Victoria's capabilities in ICT, health and medical technology
  • support Victorian SMEs to make new contacts and establish business relationships
  • facilitate increased exports and attract investment
  • support local job growth in Victoria.

Victoria's technology companies are predominantly SMEs and the mission to CommunicAsia was critical in encouraging and supporting international engagement and the development of global competitiveness.

Singapore is a regional technology hub with impressive capabilities backed by substantial government funding. Victoria competes strongly with Singapore for foreign direct investment and our technology companies attract business interest, investment and clients for their innovative solutions.

Key elements of my program included:

  • representing Victoria as the leader of the delegation of 82 senior representatives from 49 Victorian ICT companies;.
  • attending high level government and business meetings to discuss and promote opportunities for research, education and business collaboration relating to health and medical technology and ICT;
  • hosting and participating in a range of mission forums and networking events attended by industry and government representatives from across South East Asia; and
  • visiting vocational education institutions to understand their role and relationships with industry and government and to foster positive relationships with Victoria.

Benefits of travel to the state of Victoria

Mission outcomes for Victorian companies

A total of 82 delegates from 49 Victorian ICT companies participated on the mission. Quantitative outcomes from the mission are still being compiled, however, some preliminary outcomes are as follows:-

  • M2M Connectivity has been engaged by a major global satellite company to provide integration services to support Iridium's partners across Australia and Asia.
  • Proximiti expanded its Asian operations by opening two new hubs in Singapore and India. Proximiti is also in final stages of negotiating regional partnership agreements with Singapore-based, Ooyala [pronounced Uyala], which will see Proximiti's location based advertising services across Ooyala's global online video network.
  • SYPAC opened an office in Kuala Lumpur to support its clients in the banking and finance sector.
  • flexAnswer signed a renewal contract to provide its Virtual Assistant service to Changi Airport Group for the next five years.
  • UnityHealth licensed its eLearning platform, iTherapeutics to Singapore-based MIMS Limited to clinicians across seven countries in the region and will extend its services to existing client Proctor and Gamble to deliver its eLearning platform to Singapore pharmacies.
  • Novatti and Malaysian company, ATX (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd have formed a joint venture with Novatti (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd to deliver innovative payment services to 20,000 retailers across Malaysia .
  • Affirm Software Group formed a joint venture with Singapore-based YTF Consultants to take its cloud-based recruitment and on-boarding solution, Onboard Express, to the Singapore market.

Meetings to promote relationship building and business opportunities for Victoria relating to ICT, health and medical technology

In Malaysia I met with a number of Malaysian and Victorian companies with a view to understanding the opportunities to increase business collaboration and trade between Malaysia and Victoria in respect to technology.

I also met with a number of Malaysian government organisations charged with growing the ICT and other technology sectors in the country. It was an opportunity to confirm the friendly and cooperative relationship between the Malaysian and Victorian governments and to understand better the initiatives Malaysia is undertaking to stimulate economic growth.

In Singapore I met with representatives of the Singapore government and industry to discuss how they are working together to implement Singapore's "Smart Nation" initiative.

I visited the Australian Pavilion at CommunicAsia and met with Victorian companies exhibiting on the Pavilion. I also attended and spoke at an Australian networking event hosted by Austrade.

More than 160 stakeholders attended a Victorian networking event I hosted in Singapore. The event aimed to connect individuals who are interested in doing business with Victoria in relation to technology.

Education meetings

In Singapore I took the opportunity to visit Amity Global Business School to gain a better understanding of the organisation, which has indicated an interest in establishing a presence in Australia. I also visited the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) Singapore to further build on the collaborative relationship that exists between ITE and Victorian institutions in areas such as student and faculty exchanges and sharing of best practices.

Other meetings

I met with the Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia, Dr Angela McDonald and the High Commissioner to Singapore HE Philip Green to understand Australia's national priorities for the region, to promote awareness of Victoria's capabilities and to advise of our plans to establish a Victorian Government office in Singapore.

In Kuala Lumpur I visited Jaya Grocer, a specialist retailer of food and beverages and viewed Victorian products on display as part of an Australian in store promotion.

Initiatives to support continued market development

At the Victorian stakeholders networking event in Singapore I confirmed that Victoria would send another ICT mission to CommunicAsia in 2016 to promote Victoria's ICT capabilities and build business relationships across South East Asia, to support our innovative local ICT exporters and to attract ICT related investment.

I extended invitations to Malaysian and Singapore government and industry representatives to attend a range of technology events in Melbourne including the National iAwards in August 2015, Ausbiotech in October 2015, the Above All Human Startup Conference in December 2015, the Connect Conference and Exhibition in April 2016, Ausmedtech in May 2016 and the ITS World Congress in October 2016.

Next steps / Follow up

A number of trade and investment opportunities and potential joint research activity arose as a result of the mission and are being followed up by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.

The department will continue to liaise with the individual companies that participated in the mission to quantify their expected outcomes in terms of leads generated and exports projected. A debriefing session will be held to gather qualitative feedback from participants. Some qualitative feedback has already been received and is extremely positive.

Feedback will be used to further develop strategies for strengthening international business opportunities for these important, high growth and high value sectors.

Page last updated: 20 July 2016