Victorian households and businesses are big winners from free trade according to a new report from the Victorian Government, showing an open trade and investment environment has delivered a stronger economy, more jobs and better pay.
The report, Australian Trade and Investment Liberalisation, finds trade and investment liberalisation measures have boosted Victoria’s gross state product and wages by more than 9 per cent and created more than 180,000 jobs since 1986.
The lowering of tariffs and other trade and investment barriers has turbocharged Victoria’s fast-growing services industry and boosted numbers of international students and tourists.
Victoria’s is Australia’s most globally connected state and the Report, prepared for the Victorian Government by the Centre for International Economics, details for the first time how Victoria has benefited more than other states from these connections.
The Report, said Victoria's Minister for Trade and Investment, "details for the first time the real benefits that Victoria has experienced because of being an open and globally connected society and economy." It backs the Victorian Government’s agenda to drive more trade and investment by advocating for targeted economic reform, a national trade policy agenda, investing in the state's global network of Victorian Trade and Investment (VGTI) offices, and helping local businesses get export-ready.
The Victorian Government is also diversifying into new and emerging markets, including China, Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, releasing strategies to capitalise on new trade opportunities.
In addition to these strategies, in September 2017, the Victorian Government released its Globally Connected: Victoria's Trade Statement, a blueprint for the future of trade in Victoria. The Strategy's objectives are to tackle trade barriers, encourage exports and attract investment into the state.