Winter 2021 Update

Southeast Asia continues to be a region of interest for Victorian exporters looking to diversify and reach a growing consumer market.

Contact Laura Burke, Regional Specialist, Southeast Asia

Stabilising freight prices coupled with accessibility and improved market access conditions have resulted in export growth to Southeast Asia recovering to pre-pandemic levels. Victoria’s reputation as a market of choice for reliable, high quality supply of Food and Beverage products and centre of Technological and Professional services expertise has boosted demand in critical sectors.

While traditional methods of trade mission delivery and engagement with customers have changed, Global Victoria and the Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) office Network in Southeast Asia continue to promote Victorian expertise and capability.

Southeast Asia eCommerce Accelerator

The Southeast Asia e-Commerce Accelerator is the inaugural program working directly with Victorian exporters in expanding their presence on leading e-Commerce platforms – Shopee and Lazada.

The first round of the Accelerator Program has now concluded, with 14 Victorian exporters from the Beauty and Wellness, Processed Foods and Nutraceutical sectors completing a 12-week program focused on improving marketing and distribution and channels on these key platforms, in key markets, Singapore and Malaysia.

A second round of the Program will commence in August 2021, focusing on the growing market of Vietnam.

Vietnman x Victoria (V2) Virtual Trade Mission

The Vietnam x Victoria (V2) Virtual Trade Mission was delivered from 8 – 30 June and featured 39 Victorian exporters from the Food and Beverage, Technology and Sustainability sectors. The trade mission program included multiple information sessions for Victorian exporters and Vietnamese stakeholders, and facilitated business matching sessions linking Victorian exporters with Vietnamese importers and partners.

The Vietnam x Victoria (V2) Summit was held on 15 June and was formally opened by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier – Mr Steve Dimopolous MP (pictured), and featured the first address by the Asia Society Victorian Distinguished Fellow – Ms Van Dang, CEO of SavvyCom. Over 400 participants from Victoria and Vietnam registered for this activity and others across the program.

This was the inaugural activity for the Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) office in Ho Chi Minh City, with several programs planned for the second half of 2021, including formal launches of the VGTI and Study Melbourne Hub in Ho Chi Minh City.

Interested in the Vietnam market?

For more information on how to access the Vietnam market and be involved in activities, contact the Global Victoria team.

Global Gateway

On 29 March 2021, 184 Global Gateway Program grant recipients were announced, in which over 50 Victorian exporters were awarded grants to assist in market intelligence, market access and promotional activities for Southeast Asia.

The projects associated with the Grants are now underway with considerable outcomes expected for Victorian exporters across Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

Head to our Global Gateway page to learn about how the grants have helped grant recipients Pure Harvest, South Food Group, Max Biocare and Brown Family Wine Group diversify and engage with the dynamic Southeast Asia region.

December 2020 Update

In September 2020, Rebecca Hall was appointed the new Commissioner for Victoria to Southeast Asia.

Based out of Jakarta, Rebecca leads the Southeast Asia Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) offices that cover 11 countries with VGTI offices in Jakarta, Malaysia, Singapore and the most recent addition in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City.

Rebecca will work to advance Victoria’s trade and investment interests in the region.

About Rebecca

Photograph of Rebecca HallRebecca’s career spans international education, economic development and industry programs across local state and federal government. She re-joins the Victorian Government after 5 years leading international education strategy and policy for the Queensland Government and Australian Government (Austrade)

Rebecca is passionate about making a difference through global engagement and the power of trade and education for a better world.  She holds holds a Bachelor of International Business Relations and a Masters of International Relations. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and in 2017 was awarded the International Education Association of Australia’s (IEAA) Leadership Award for her contribution to the sector.

Rebecca’s immediate priorities in the role include:

  • Maintaining a high level of engagement with key governments and partners in trade, investment and education across the dynamic Southeast Asia region, and the opportunity to open and set up the inaugural team of staff a new Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) office in the Ho Chi Minh City. This makes our 4th office for the region and 23rd for the network.
  • Assisting Victorian exporters to navigate the changes in Southeast Asian markets and to be well positioned to capitalise on those changes to maintain and open new opportunities, including accessing government support through programs like the Economic Recovery Package to open and maintain markets in the region
  • Delivering real time insight, market access services and virtual event programs to promote Victorian trade and investment, ensuring we embed the lessons of 2020 to improve and scale our reach and impact.
  • Rebecca summarised the challenges and opportunities facing Victorian businesses in Southeast Asia as follows:

    “We recognise the challenges Victorian businesses operating globally and specifically in the diverse, dynamic and digital markets of Southeast Asia have faced this year".

    To help deal with these challenges, the Victorian Government released a $15.7 million Economic Recovery Package in addition to the recently announced budget to address logistics and supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, and establish new export channels. Businesses will be connected to international markets through virtual trade missions as well as assistance to adapt their export strategies to respond to the rapidly changing global market.

    “We have a strong and experienced team here in Southeast Asia, based in four offices in Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Vietnam. They understand the challenges and are tracking the opportunities for Victorian clients. In 2019-20, Victoria’s merchandise exports to Southeast Asia was worth A$4.08 billion, contributing to 14.5 per cent of Victoria’s global exports."

    “Southeast Asia’s internet economy reached US$100 billion for the first time in 2019 due to factors such as the growing middle class and increase in digital literacy; and is expected to triple by 2025 and is set to be further accelerated providing opportunities in sectors such as eCommerce.”

    “International education as Victoria’s largest export is also a key focus for our education services managers in the region International education is not only an export sector, it's an opportunity to build and nurture talent and innovation.

    Southeast Asia has a key role to play and we expect Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia to be key markets for innovation in the education offering.  We are proud of the efforts from local and state government, along with our education providers, to support the more than 22,000 students from Southeast Asia who remained in Victoria during 2020 to continue studies. We are preparing to welcome international students back in 2021.”

    “This is a fascinating time and many opportunities are presenting themselves for Victorian businesses. We need to stay focused, positive and be ready to adapt to change" Rebecca Hall - State Government of Victoria's Commissioner to Southeast Asia

    Want to know more about this dynamic region?

    For further information about the opportunities emerging in Southeast Asia, contact our specialist for the region, Jason Fitts –

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