In a major win for Victoria, the leading global organisation dedicated to forging closer ties with Asia through business, culture and education has set up its regional headquarters in Melbourne, as Victorian Government continues its efforts to boost trade in our region and create more jobs in our state.

Premier Daniel Andrews will tonight join business leaders, philanthropists, and consular officials from across Asia to officially launch the Asia Society Australia Centre, which will be their largest facility in the southern hemisphere.

The Centre will act as a hub for business, diplomatic, cultural and civic engagement on Australia-Asia relations and will play host to leading international figures, learning programs, policy insights and help connect with Victoria’s diverse communities.

And in a major coup for Victoria, the Centre will also be a regional home – the first outside the United States – for the Asia Society Policy Institute and the Asia Society for Global Education.

Hosting the first Asia Society Policy Institute outside the United States, will put Victoria at the forefront of tackling the major policy challenges confronting the Asia-Pacific in security, prosperity and sustainability.

This partnership builds upon the work of Victorian Government to strengthen and expand our trade, engagement and connections to our neighbours across Asia to help create jobs and prosperity.

Seven of our state’s top ten trading partners are in Asia, with two-way trade with China valued at $28 billion alone, and exports to countries such as Japan, Thailand and Malaysia increasing rapidly in recent years – we want to grow this trade and the Centre will help forge new partnerships, opportunities and relationships in the region.

Melbourne is also ranked as Australia’s top student destination – and third in the world – and having the Asia Society based here further cements our city as the proud and vibrant multicultural global city that it is, as we look to boost the hundreds of thousands of students who come from across Asia to study in Victoria.

Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, the Asia Society is a non-partisan, non-profit institution with centres in New York, Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo, Washington DC, Zurich, Sydney and now Melbourne.