Spring 2018 update:

On 25 October 2018, the Victorian Premier and Chinese Ambassador Cheng Jingye finalised a Memorandum of Understanding between Victoria and China on the Belt and Road Initiative.

The Initiative is one of the world’s largest and most ambitious trade and infrastructure plans to revive the Silk Road by creating two modern transit and trade corridors between China and Europe:

Victoria is the first and only Australian state to reach an agreement on the Belt and Road Initiative with the Chinese government and marks an important step forward in China’s and Victoria’s relationship.

The MoU will provide support for Victorian businesses to unlock significant trade and investment opportunities in China.

The Belt and Road Initiative is China’s vision for working with participating countries to strengthen economic and social linkages by creating two modern transit and trade corridors between China and Europe:

  1. The land-based ‘New Silk Road Economic Belt’ through Central Asia.
  2. The ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ looping westward by sea to Europe.

The Initiative aims to create the physical infrastructure (transport and telecommunications), financial initiatives (lending, capital raising) and policy conditions (customs, taxation co-ordination, trade and investment alliances) that will facilitate regional trade and co-operation.

The Victorian Government has worked to ensure the Belt and Road Initiative was open to Victorian businesses.

In May 2017, the Victorian Premier joined more than 90 world leaders in Beijing for the Belt and Road Forum. Opened by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Forum hosted the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kin, as well as the heads of state from countries including Argentina, Italy, Greece, Russia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Participating in a key international panel discussion, the Premier highlighted Victoria’s leadership and achievements in its engagement with China and promoted Victoria’s infrastructure, transport and investment agenda.

The landmark agreement recognises the close relationship between Victoria and China, the result of dedicated engagement at all levels of government, including four visits to China by the Victorian Premier, and follows the decision by the Australia-China Belt and Road Initiative (ACBRI) to establish their headquarters in Melbourne.

The ACBRI is a not-for-profit organisation which provides a coordination point for Australian companies seeking opportunities under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The MOU builds on Victoria’s already strong relationship with China, and will ensure we are best placed to capitalise on the investment opportunities possible through the Belt and Road initiative, meaning more trade, jobs and investment for Victoria..

Want to know more?

If you're a Victorian business interested in pursuing opportunities generated by the Belt and Road Initiative, contact us or the Victorian Government Trade and Investment offices in China to discuss how the Victorian Government can assist them.

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