Victoria and Malaysia deepen business ties

Image credit: flickr User: Gerard Stafleu

Victorian Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh and the Malaysian Minister for Agriculture YB Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob held a meeting in Malaysia where they discussed mutual investment opportunities in agriculture products and services and closer working relationships between governments.

Image credit: flickr User: Gerard Stafleu
Image credit: flickr User: Gerard Stafleu

According to the media release by the Premier of Victoria, the Ministerial meeting was part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s Super Trade Mission which is currently visiting Malaysia, as well as Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar, with 130 Victorian businesses.

“Victoria and Malaysia have enjoyed a close relationship for decades, and in more recent times this has been seen through Malaysia’s growing interest in Victorian food and fibre products. As well as importing $382 million of Victorian food and fibre last year, Malaysia is also very interested in Victoria’s productivity-focused research and development work in the dairy and plant technology industries. Malaysia is also very keen to know more about Victoria’s biosecurity and traceability systems for meat products, including electronic identification of livestock, with a view to adopting our technology and systems,” Mr Walsh said.

“A very positive outcome of the meeting was an agreement between Minister Ismail and I that our governments will work together more closely on areas of shared interest between our respective agriculture industries. I have also invited Minister Ismail to bring an agribusiness delegation to Victoria in August when the Malaysia-Australia Joint Trade Commission meets in Melbourne. I was very pleased to confirm directly with Minister Ismail that Victoria has world-leading food safety regulations and quality assurance systems that ensure we are consistent in our delivery of high quality, safe products that meet Malaysian consumers’ high standards.”

Malaysia is an important trading partner for Victoria, taking five per cent of the state’s total food and fibre exports of $9.4 billion.

“The value of Victorian food and fibre exports to Malaysia increased 35% between 2008–09 and 2012–13, and there has been a boost after the Malaysia Australia Free Trade Agreement was signed one year ago,” Mr Walsh said.

“The new agribusiness investment position at the Kuala Lumpur Victorian Government Business Office that I announced last week will help drive opportunities for Victorian food businesses, as part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s $100 million Food to Asia Action Plan.”

Key Victorian exports to Malaysia include grains ($101 million), dairy ($100 million), meat ($67 million), prepared foods ($61 million), wool ($31 million) and horticulture ($20 million).