Illustrative image. (Source: Internet)

Sydney (VNA) – The government of Victoria, Australia has released a strategy called “Globally Connected” to help local companies access Southeast Asian markets and boost trade and investment in the region.

“Globally Connected: Victoria’s Southeast Asia Trade and Investment Strategy” outlines plans to expand the state’s two-way economic relations with the region, identify key trends and highlight opportunities in education, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure and professional services, ICT and health and medical technology.

These sectors offer the most opportunities in the region and are well-aligned with Victoria’s strengths and capabilities.

“By focusing our sights on the huge untapped potential of Southeast Asia, we’re helping local businesses expand into new markets and create more jobs for Victorians,” said the state’s Minister for Trade and Investment Philip Dalidakis.

“Victoria’s companies are some of the most diverse and innovative in the world, and this strategy will help them offer their products, services and expertise to a new region and new customers.”

The strategy covers existing relationships in key markets like Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, and explores emerging opportunities in the Philippines and Myanmar.

Among its goals are growing the value of service exports from Victoria to Southeast Asia by 50 percent and doubling the value of inbound investment over the next 10 years.

Another focus is plans for further investment and collaboration between Victoria’s technology sector and the sector in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Southeast Asia has a population of more than 630 million people. If the region was a single country, it would be the fifth largest economy in the world, with a combined GDP of 2.5 trillion USD in 2017. The region continues to outpace global economic growth rates. By 2030, the Southeast Asia’s middle class is expected to reach 161 million, with its economy the world’s fourth largest.

Southeast Asia is Victoria’s  second largest trading partner, with two-way merchandise trade valued at 15.3 billion USD in 2016 – 2017, an increase of more than 30 percent in the last decade. –VNA