The Victorian Alumni Network has been launched in Chile to strengthen international ties and create new opportunities for trade and business between Victoria and Latin America.

The Victorian Alumni Network brings together alumni of Victorian Universities who are now living in Chile and aims to create strong connections with international students after they’ve finished studying in Victoria.

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis launched the network at an event with Victorian university alumni living in Chile during a trade mission to South America.

Former international students studying in Victoria have gone on to become important ambassadors for the state, using their experiences to promote Victoria in their home countries and create new business opportunities.

Latin America is an emerging market for international education and the number of students from Chile enrolled to study in Victoria has increased by more than 51 per cent between 2011 and 2016.

The Victorian Government will also be providing a grant to the Santiago Saints Australian rules football club to help build a new clubhouse after a fire recently destroyed their facilities.

Aussie rules football is growing in popularity in South America thanks to Victoria’s growing relationship with Chile and other South American countries, and the constant stream of Victorians taking their expertise in mining and other sectors across the Pacific.

International education is Victoria’s largest service based export contributing more than $7.1 billion to the economy and supporting the jobs of more than 30,000 Victorians across the state.

Exports play a crucial role in boosting Victoria’s economy, with the total number of exports over the year to June rising 10 per cent to be worth a record $46 billion.

Read more about Victoria’s international education sector.