In 2022, the Asia Trade and Innovation Hub (ATIH) released a series of three reports with the goal of enhancing the relationship between Victoria and Southeast Asia.
The first report in this series, Strengthening Victoria's Connections with Southeast Asia - Trade and Investment Opportunities, provides a roadmap for business and government as they seek to deepen relationships with Southeast Asian countries and strengthen Victoria's participation in the region following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Led by the Australian APEC Study Centre at RMIT, as an RMIT Asia Trade and Innovation Hub publication, in partnership with the Asia Society Australia and experts from RMIT's College of Business and Law (COBL) and School of Global, Urban and Social Studies (GUSS), this report identifies opportunities and recommendations to boost Victoria's engagement with the countries of Southeast Asia.
Victoria stands out among Australia’s states and territories as being well positioned to reap the benefits from its economic complementarity with the Southeast Asian region. Countries across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have young, fast-growing and increasingly affluent populations. They have become more digitally sophisticated, demanding higher-quality products and services.
If Victoria can build on the existing trade and investment relationship to help Southeast Asian countries grow their economies and raise the living standards of their people then exciting, new opportunities will open up for the State. But to do so, it needs to continue to build genuine partnerships with Southeast Asian nations – ones that transcend development cooperation, that values the region in its own right, and responds to priority needs in the contemporary post-COVID environment.
This report examines the changed landscape, identifies the new opportunities, and sets out an agenda for government, business and other situations to respond. However, analysis of the opportunities and challenges ahead will remain just that if not matched by businesses willing to take the risks, and by governments that are willing to support them.
Partners for prosperity: The recommendations
Recent developments warrant a fresh approach as to how Victoria trades and invests with countries in Southeast Asia. Now is the time to reinvigorate and strengthen the existing relationship to take advantage of opportunities, mitigate challenges and build engagement to deliver mutual benefits. But to position Victorian business for success in Southeast Asian markets in the new environment requires high-level engagement by both government and business leaders.
Victorian business leaders and policy makers should come together for a high-level discussion to action a roadmap to deepen trade and investment linkages with Southeast Asian countries. Doing so will help Victorian businesses manage risk in the post-COVID trade landscape and contribute to a safer, more prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
1. Lead a new approach to trading after COVID:
2. Tap into the digital transformation across the Southeast Asian region:
3. Support supply chain resilience:
4. Build investment in the green industries of the future:
5. Enhance labour mobility:
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.