SYDNEY, May 16 (Xinhua) -- A host of Victorian businesses have begun an official trade mission to China on Tuesday.
Phillip Dalidakis, Victoria's minister for Small Business Innovation and Trade, toured the headquarters of e-commerce giant Alibaba on Tuesday with representatives from 12 Victorian agribusinesses and 16 food and beverage companies.
The tour offered the companies an opportunity to speak with Alibaba executives in person as they attempt to promote Victorian products on both Taobao and Tmall.
Dalidakis also made a presentation to the Zhejiang Fintech Association on Victoria's strengths in financial technology and blockchain.
Many of the businesses invited on the trip are headquartered in the Latrobe Valley, a region 157 km east of Melbourne which has a below-average rate of employment as the government tries to boost the region's economy.
"We're working closely with Victoria's businesses to make sure they have all the tools and connections they need to trade with the world's largest market," Dalidakis said in a media release on Tuesday.
"China is our most important economic relationship and biggest trading partner, strengthening that relationship will contribute to Victoria's growing economy and create jobs."
He announced that the Zhejiang Fintech Association would lead a delegation to Melbourne later in 2017 to further explore collaboration with Victorian companies in the blockchan sector.
The trade mission comes after the Victorian government committed 750,000 U.S. dollars to hiring mew staff at the state's five trade and investment offices in China in the state budget.
The government said the offices are extremely important due to China's status as the state's largest two-way trade partner.
Trade between China and Victoria was worth 17.74 billion U.S. dollars in Financial Year 2016, with China having notable investments in all Victoria's key industry sectors.