Victorian businesses already engage in significant trade with the UK and Western Europe markets. However, the region is in the midst of enormous change and new investment, trade and partnering opportunities are emerging across a range of sectors for Victorian goods and services.
Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and Australia (AUS-EU FTA) were launched in June 2018. An FTA with the EU has the potential to exponentially grow Victoria’s economic relationship with the EU.
Opportunities for Victorians looking to do business with the United Kingdom and Europe
Defence & advanced technology
The Australian Government's selection of UK, French and German companies to design and build frigates, submarines and armoured vehicles respectively has provided key opportunities for Victorian organisations to offer technology, expertise, products and services and participate into the broader value chain of these multinational companies, potentially enabling further business development in the UK, Europe and beyond.
Victoria’s growing strengths in fintech can be leveraged in the United Kingdom (UK) by the UK- Australia FinTech Bridge which offers Australian and UK fintech startups entry into each country’s respective regulatory sandboxes and potential quicker licence processing for companies already holding a licence in the opposing country.
Oxford University’s world leading Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre (GCSCC)entered into a landmark agreement with the Victorian Government to collaborate with the Oceania Cyber Security Centre (OCSC) in Melbourne. This agreement is just one aspect of the growing cyber security engagement between the UK and Victoria.
Keep an eye of the ‘What’s on’ page on the Trade Victoria website for a range of delegations and events related to fintech and cyber.
Austrade's Berlin Landing Pad provides a collaborative global workspace for Victorian startups to break into the European market.
Medtech & pharmaceutical products
Melbourne's biotech, medical technology and pharmaceutical businesses are globally competitive in research and development and are strongly positioned to collaborate with UK and European organisations for innovative products and services – particularly biotech, medicaments and medical devices.
Food, fibre & retail
Significant UK and European investment into Victoria's food and fibre retail and logistics sectors provide key opportunities for Victorian businesses to build stronger trade links with these key UK and European companies.
As producers and providers of some of the world's cleanest, healthiest and premium food products, Victoria's agribusiness is competitively placed to meet the UK and Europe's growing demand for quality foods, including fruit and nuts, wine and oils and fibre.
Victoria is a powerhouse of clean energy innovation, and as the international demand for new energy alternatives continues to increase – the new energy sector has attracted some of the leading European energy companies to establish in Victoria.
Victorian companies are partnering and actively engaged in projects and are well placed to provide expert knowledge and innovative solutions to Europe and globally.
In 2017, there were approximately 229,400 UK and 331,300 European overnight visitors to Victoria providing significant opportunities for Victoria's tourism and hospitality businesses to increase their customer base.
Victoria as a gateway to Asia
The Victorian Government encourages European businesses to base their Asia-Pacific operations in Victoria and yield advantage from Victoria’s Asia capability.
Melbourne is uniquely placed for UK and European companies seeking to service Asia Pacific. Sharing the same time zone as Asia, offering a curfew free airport, the largest container port in Australia, together with a rich multicultural linguistically diverse population, makes Melbourne a practical location for global organisations looking for success in Australia and Asia Pacific
- The UK is the second largest foreign investor in Victoria.
- The European Union (EU) accounts for 40 per cent of foreign direct investment into Victoria, with Germany, France, Italy and Spain among the largest investors from the EU.
- In 2017 there were approximately 2,9 million international overnight visitors to Victoria of which 229,400 were from the UK and 331,300 from Europe
- Negotiations for a joint Australian-European Union Free Trade Agreement has commenced, aiming to reduce non-tariff barriers and improve market access for services and agricultural products.
- The EU was Victoria's second largest trading partner (behind China) with two-way merchandise trade worth $14.3 billion in 2016-17. Total two-way trade with the UK in 2016-17 was valued at $2.2 billion.
Discover how your business can export to the UK and Europe
- The Agent-General for Victoria based in London represents Victoria in the UK, Europe and Israel through the Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) offices in London. Our VGTI office can provide tailored market intelligence, insights and guidance for your export business and connect you with overseas buyers and industry partners.
- Austrade's UK Market Profile provides further detail and facts about the UK market and many other European markets.
- The Victorian Government provides support through a range of grants, vouchers and assistance programs.
- The International Chamber House (ICH) in Melbourne's city centre is a business networking hub for international bilateral chambers and business associations. It provides members access to meeting rooms with video-conferencing, flexible workspaces and a function space for international business development events. The British, French and German Chambers are all housed at ICH.
- Visit our regional insights page and read current updates from our Regional Specialists located across the globe