Case study: Sapphire Holdings Group

Founded in 2003, Sapphire Holdings Group operates many aged care residences across Victoria. Through its international arm, Sapphire International Holdings, the company developed a unique business and aged care delivery model for the Chinese market.

The Victorian Government has been working with Sapphire International over the past three years, supporting their international endeavours through introductions via both inbound and outbound trade missions.

Sapphire International had been looking for export opportunities in China and participated in a Victorian Government health and aged trade mission to China in 2015. This mission allowed Sapphire representatives to meet potential Chinese partners, and they began discussions with the Fosun Group and its subsidiary company Sungin.

Carol Allen, CEO of Sapphire International Holdings, said: “The state government has assisted us in making connections in China and in 2015 we joined the Victorian group mission to China and were introduced to Fosun.”

“We now have a Joint Venture contract and are in the middle of building an aged care centre in Beijing that’s set to open in 2018.”

Sapphire International is the first Victorian company to enter into a Joint Venture (JV) in China to develop and run an aged care facility using the Australian standards and Sapphire's own quality standards, policies and procedures. The project is a pilot and has potential for scalability.

The free trade agreement with China has been a catalyst for service delivery into China and made it possible for Sapphire International to enter this JV agreement with Fosun.