Winter 2019 Update

As announced by the Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula in June 2019, Victoria is a Major Partner with Australia for World Expo 2020 in Dubai. This provides a unique opportunity to showcase the best of Victorian research, innovation and creativity to international audiences.

 

The Expo will take place over 173 days (20 October 2020 – 10 April 2021), include 193 country pavilions and is expected to generate over 25 million visits. Victoria’s involvement will include leading delegations to relevant trade shows and fairs that coincide with the expo, as well as opportunities to be involved in Australia’s cultural program.

Several Victorian businesses have already been engaged by the Expo 2020 organisers to deliver projects:

  • GHD has been engaged to design the fire, ambulance and police facility
  • Woods Bagot is the infrastructure design consultant for the Conference and Exhibition Centre Campus
  • Cox Architects is the design consultant for the Opportunity Pavilion
  • Aconex will design the IT Document Management System
  • Rosterfy won the contract to provide an event workforce management solution platform, to support Expo 2020 employees and volunteers.

Victorian companies have also been engaged to by DFAT to work on the Australian Pavilion:

  • Icon/Acorn Alliance will deliver the marketing and communications strategy for Australia’s presence at Expo
  • Schiavello will be the official furniture supplier for the Australian Pavilion
  • Melbourne-based event management company IVG has partnered with Thinkwell Group to form TVG, which will operate the Australian Pavilion for the six months of Expo.

Want to know more?

For more information, visit our Expo 2020 webpage.

Victoria punches above its weight in food exports to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Victoria is the largest agriculture producer in Australia and MENA and Turkey are important markets for our food exports. In 2018, Victorian businesses supplied $1 billion worth of food products to the region. The products exported range from meat, sheep meat and beef, cheese and other dairy products, grains and pulses, vegetables, fruits and nuts and prepared foods. Sheep meat, predominantly lamb, accounts for 55 per cent of all Victorian exports to the region (valued at A$555 million). In each of the top 10 MENA sheep meat markets, Victoria has over 50 per cent share, with one, Iran, at over 86 per cent.

Increase in UAE education infrastructure spending presents opportunities for Victoria

The Victorian Government Trade and Investment Office (VGTI) in Dubai is observing an increase in United Arab Emirates (UAE) government spending on research and development with international partners. In 2018 the education sector received Dh10.4bn (US$2.8bn) from the federal budget to help build better infrastructure and improve research facilities. The VGTI is exploring the opportunities this is creating Victorian universities.

UAE expands list of taxable products

The UAE Cabinet has announced an expansion of the excise taxable products to include sweetened beverages and electronic smoking devices starting on 1 January 2020.[1] A tax of 50 per cent will be levied on any product with added sugar or other sweeteners including beverages, liquids, concentrates, powders, extracts or any product that may be converted to a drink. Beverages exempt from this new tax include ready-to-drink beverages that

  • contain at least 75 per cent milk or milk substitutes
  • are consumed for special dietary needs
  • are consumed for medical use and
  • baby formula or food[2]

Electronic smoking devices and the liquids used in them will attract a tax of 100 per cent, whether they contain nicotine or tobacco or not. The UAE Government states that this decision aims to reduce the consumption of products that are harmful to human health and the environment.

New opportunities for connection between Victoria and Israel in biomed and fintech

The Minister for Priority Precincts, Gavin Jennings announced that an Israel liaison officer will be based at Parkville’s Biomedical Precinct as part of a grant between the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and Melbourne University. The liaison officer will work across Victoria’s entire biomedical sector, including other universities, research institutes and industry to support research collaboration and commercialisation opportunities within the Victorian and Israeli biomedical sectors.

In late June 2019, the Young Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce ran a fintech trade mission for a group of emerging leaders from Australia. The delegation was led by Charlotte Petris, co-founder and CEO of Victorian based company Timelio, Australia’s leading invoice and supply chain finance platform. Charlotte is also a member of the Australian Government’s FinTech Advisory Board. Throughout the mission delegates had the opportunity to connect and collaborate with young Israeli entrepreneurs and learn about new technologies and innovations coming out of Israel including blockchain, cryptocurrency, cyber security and payment fraud and more.

The Australian Government responds to events t in the Strait of Hormuz

Tensions have heightened in the Strait of Hormuz, an important shipping lane for crude oil. In response, the US and UK have bolstered their naval presence in the region. In August 2019, the Prime Minister announced that Australia will be joining the US led coalition in the Persian Gulf on a six-month mission.

The events have not substantially impacted Victoria’s trade in the region at this stage. The Dubai VGTI will continue to work with DFAT to monitor the situation.


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