Global Victoria champions Pacific trade expansion at Melbourne roundtable

May 6, 2024 | Blog, News

The recent roundtable hosted by Global Victoria in Melbourne (17 April) was a well-attended event that brought together prominent figures from the Australia-Pacific business community, highlighting the collaborative efforts to boost economic engagement in the Pacific islands region.

Global Victoria is the trade promotion agency of the Victorian Government in Australia. It focuses on enhancing the global presence of Victorian businesses by developing their export capabilities and connecting them with international trade opportunities.

The session commenced with Sophie Boucaut of the Australia Pacific Islands Business Council extending a warm welcome to the attendees. Simon Gorman, President of the same council, provided insightful opening remarks that shed light on the council’s past achievements, current activities and ongoing challenges in the Pacific business landscape.

Global Victoria's Madeline Sexton and Andrew Bester  address the Roundtable.

Global Victoria’s Madelaine Sexton and Andrew Bester address the Roundtable.

Madelaine Sexton and Andrew Bester from Global Victoria then spoke about the organisation’s role in promoting Victorian businesses worldwide and its interest in developing Pacific markets, particularly focusing on burgeoning ventures in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. They emphasised Global Victoria’s commitment to fostering economic ties and expanding business opportunities.

ANZ Banking Group Economist Dr Kishti Sen delivered a comprehensive economic overview, bringing valuable economic data and analysis to the forefront. Caleb Jarvis, Pacific Trade Invest Australia’s Trade & Investment Commissioner discussed how their extensive network of trade offices is aiding Pacific businesses in scaling their exports internationally, while helping channelise investments into the islands.

Craig Knowles AM, representing the Australian Trade Commission, shared insights from the government policy perspective, while Vaughan Mills and Chris Welberry, representing Papua New Guinea and Fiji business councils respectively, discussed specific challenges and opportunities in their regions.

Frank Yourn, Executive Director of the three Business Councils’ Secretariat, played a key role in steering the conversation towards actionable insights and collaborative opportunities. The discussions also included perspectives on the French Pacific territories, touching on recent economic conditions in New Caledonia and French Polynesia.

The event concluded with a networking lunch where executive committee members from the three Business Councils, their Melbourne-based members as well as invited guests drawn from the Victorian business community were present.

This gathering not only fostered a deeper understanding of the Pacific’s business environment but also reinforced the importance of international cooperation in achieving sustainable economic growth in the region. The roundtable was hosted in the offices of Johnstaff International in downtown Melbourne.