As part of a ministerial Trade Mission to China, the Victorian Government is bringing local businesses face-to-face with some of China's biggest companies – showcasing the state's fintech expertise and promoting Victoria's food and fibre, engineering and professional services sectors.

The Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade together with 12 Victorian agribusinesses and 16 food and beverage companies – toured the headquarters of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, and met with executives to promote Victorian products on the Tmall and Taobao platforms.

The Trade Mission to China will provide opportunities for business owners to showcase their capabilities and see first-hand how a multi-billion dollar company like Alibaba runs on the ground, and will support a number of tour delegates from the La Trobe Valley region (located 157 km east of Melbourne) to help them expand their business potential by ensuring they have "all the tools and connections they need to trade with the world's largest market," said the Minister.

Victoria's strengths in financial technology and blockchain were also presented to the Zhejiang Fintech Association where the Minister's addressed more than 20 Chinese companies on Victoria's advanced fintech ecosystem, as well as investment opportunities in the sector.

The Minister also announced that the Zhejiang Fintech Association will lead a delegation to Melbourne later this year to explore collaboration with Victorian companies in the emerging blockchain sector.

Building on its pledge to support Victoria's businesses overseas, the Victorian Budget 2017/18 announced A$1 million in extra funding to increase staff numbers in China's five trade and investment offices – or Victorian Government Business Offices (VGBOs).

China is Victoria's largest two-way trading partner worth more than A$23.3 billion and contributing to all of the state's key industry sectors including international education, health, medical technologies and food and fibre.