Parliamentary Secretary for Trade Kelvin Thomson is in Geelong today for a two-day Trade Outreach Program to showcase the region's business and export potential to 13 Consuls-General from around the globe. He will also hold talks with local industry representatives and exporters.
Geelong is Victoria's largest provincial centre and its fastest growing region. It offers a variety of investment and trade opportunities for the visiting Consuls-General to consider in manufacturing, textiles, education, agriculture, food, and sport.
The Gross Regional Product (GRP) for Geelong is estimated at over A$10 billion, and represents 3 percent of Victoria's Gross State Product (GSP). The Geelong region supports 278,000 residents, with this number expected to reach 398,000 by 2031. It is home to over 15,000 business enterprises and a labour force of 120,000 people.
Geelong's infrastructure links it to the rest of the world. "Avalon airport, the waterfront, and skilled labour combined with innovation and ingenuity make Geelong an important trade hub," Mr Thomson said.
Mr Thomson will address the Consuls-General at a dinner in Geelong on 8 May.
Mr Thomson will be joined by the Member for Corio, Richard Marles, and the Member for Corangamite, Darren Cheeseman, to help promote export opportunities for Geelong businesses to the visiting Consuls-Generals.
The 13 Consuls-Generals visiting Geelong represent Chile, the People's Republic of China, Croatia, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Malta, Sultanate of Oman, Sri Lanka, and Turkey.
"This visit is a fantastic opportunity for the Consuls-General to see the variety of products and services produced by Geelong which could be exported to their respective countries. It's a great opportunity for local businesses," Mr Thomson said.
Mr Thomson's Geelong Trade Outreach Program includes visits and meetings with: CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Blackwell IXL, Cotton On, Roundtable with Geelong Business & Manufacturing representatives, Boundary Bend Limited, and RPC Technology.
As part of the Trade Outreach Program Mr Thomson congratulated local businesses which have benefited from the Government's Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme. EMDG grants, administered by Austrade, encourage small and medium-sized firms to tackle global markets by reimbursing up to 50 per cent of eligible export promotion expenses.
EMDG recipients in the Geelong region last year included:
- Aircraft Plastics Australia Pty Ltd $14,171
- Kardinia International College $17,629
- Sampford IXL Pty Ltd $21,350
- Kildair Hotels Group Pty Ltd $9,867
- Priority Care Emergency Management Systems $53,672
- Sport Products (Australia) Pty Ltd $17,942
- Thread Bleach Cloth $25,756
- Kaisecraft Pty Ltd $99,491
- Gourmet Brands Two Pty Ltd Darriwill Farm $34,523
- Austin Wines Pty Ltd $12,751
- Bathseba Oak Pty Ltd $17,914
- Arms Reliability Pty Ltd $36,556
- Mr Fern Nurseries Pty Ltd $6,326
- William Frederick C Wilson T/A Willie Wildlife Sculptures $15,978
- Meredith Dairy Pty Ltd $11,161
- POS Active Pty Ltd $41,947
- Justin Paul Keenan T/A Karvin Records $20,353
- Great Southern Waters Limited $47,167
Total EMDG Grants paid to Geelong Region: $504,554
"The Asian Century provides both opportunities and challenges for Australian business. It is heartening to see local businesses in Geelong competing successfully in a wide range of overseas markets," Mr Thomson said.
"Our local businesses have shown they have the drive and ingenuity to be world leaders in fields such as manufacturing, clean energy, research and development," Mr Marles added.
"I congratulate the companies of the Geelong region for generating local employment through exporting, and contributing to the stability, growth and welfare of the local community", Mr Cheeseman said.
This year the Federal Government will also fund Austrade's new Asian Century Business Engagement plan, providing grants of up to $300,000 to business organisations to help their members integrate with Asian markets.
- Parliamentary Secretary's Office: (02) 6277 4633
- Departmental Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555