Victoria’s relationship with Latin America is stronger than ever after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Victoria and Brazil’s largest state and economic powerhouse São Paulo.
Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula announced the MoU on 1 October, the first between an Australian and a Latin American trade and investment agency.
The agreement means Victoria and São Paulo will collaborate on opening new pathways for trade, investment, education and flight connectivity between Melbourne and the city of São Paulo.
An increasing number of Victorian companies, including Nufarm, Gekko Systems, Orica, Carsales, SEEK and Cotton On, have established a presence in Brazil and the MoU will facilitate more to join them.
Nufarm provides agricultural solutions to Brazilian farmers and has built a significant footprint in the country which includes a head office in São Paulo, an industrial park in Maracanaú and eight distribution centres across Brazil. Carsales purchased Brazilian automotive classifieds website Webmotors in 2013 and has helped that business become a significant player in Brazil’s online automotive classifieds market.
- Brazil is a growing source of international visitors to Victoria with numbers rising by an average 13.8 per cent every year since 2014. Latin American visitors increased by over 72,000 last year, up 100 per cent over the last six years.
- Two-way trade between Victoria and Brazil was valued at more than $322 million in 2018 and merchandise exports from Victoria to Brazil grew by 14 per cent between 2016 and 2018.
- Since 2012 enrolments from Latin America have grown by 216 per cent and the agreement will ensure that that trend continues as Victoria is promoted as a study destination for students from São Paulo.
The Victorian Government released their Latin America Trade and Investment Strategy in June last year, committing to doubling goods exports, doubling student numbers and doubling visitor numbers over the following 10 years.
With the opening of its Latin America office in Santiago, Chile and the introduction of direct flights between Santiago and Melbourne, the Victorian Government is helping to open new trade pathways for Victoria’s exporters.