The release of the Creative State report marks twelve months since the launch of the Victorian Government's four-year strategy to boost the state's international reputation and creative profile, and stimulate tourism, trade and investment.
Following extensive sector and public consultation, Creative State is a A$115 million investment that will deliver 40 new actions to support and drive forward the state's vibrant creative industries sector.
Five of these actions include a A$5.05 million investment towards building international engagement and extending Victoria's impact and profile for global audiences, visitors and markets.
According to the Creative State report released in June 2017, international markets are vital for Victoria's creators, and for some industry sectors is the primary focus. The digital technology sector is a notable example with around 90 per cent of Victoria's digital gaming products developed for a global audience, which is growing at 5.7 per cent each year, and is expected to be worth more than US$93 billion by 20191.
Initiatives already in place by Global Victoria such as regular inbound and outbound Trade Missions have been delivering major trade and cultural events for over a decade – supporting Victorian business owners in expanding their export potential with key international markets, such as China, Indonesia, India, Europe and the United States.
A global network of Victorian Government Business Offices (VGBOs) have also been established to support Victorian business owners and organisations in-market by connecting them with international buyers and industry partners, and offering market advice and analysis.
As part of the Creative State actions (29 to 34), Global Victoria, VGBOs and Creative Victoria partnered to plan and lead a series of mission-style visits to a number of key locations specifically designed for the creative industry sector.
For example, in March 2017 a delegation of 57 Victorian games industry representatives to the 2017 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco – the world's largest annual gathering of professional game developers. Ten of these companies also travelled to Boston to take part in the leading games expo PAX East. Companies that took part in the trip showcased new titles and new technologies, ex sought to make new business connections.
The mission resulted in A$261,000 immediate export sales, A$4.2 million in estimated business in the following 1-12 months, and A$6.6 million in projected business in the following 13 to 24 months.
The flagship Victorian Invitation Program (VIP) provides a platform to showcase the state's strengths and capabilities to international buyers, investors and key business leaders. Global Victoria and Creative Victoria's partnership brought a number of creative industries delegation to the state for VIP 2017, and arranged for delegations from other industry sectors to engage with Victoria's creative sector.
More than half of this year's VIP international delegates were from China – Victoria's largest two-way trading partner worth A$18.9 billion a year, and the world's largest e-commerce market with an estimated 688 million internet users spending more than US$779 billion each year. With e-commerce a major highlight of VIP 2017, Victorian delegates were provided key networking opportunities, and workshops to learn how to tap into China's booming e-commerce market. The fashion e-commerce workshop was a VIP highlight focusing on selling into China and utilising social media to capture new markets.
Growth in Asian markets continues to outperform most international economies, and as the demand across Asia for creative services continues to rise, ongoing opportunities and potential for trade, tourism and cultural engagement will also increase.
Home to a thriving creative industries sector, Victoria's creators play a vital role towards the future of our state's prosperity. Continued support for the sector with strategy's like Creative State will help to build a larger international market, expand our international relationships, and strengthen Victoria's brand.
1 Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2015-2019, PwC.