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Diversification of Victoria's global trade relationships will be key to food and fibre sector in Gippsland
Diversification of Victoria's global trade relationships will be key to unlocking the true potential of our state's food and fibre sector.
This year, our farmers have been blessed with strong seasonal conditions that now see many looking forward to a bumper harvest. It's a year of great opportunity. At least it should be - if we play our cards right. Victoria's a global leader in agriculture with an enviable reputation for consistently producing high-quality, clean, green produce.
Action is needed in order to attract and retain necessary talent and investment to further grow Gippsland's food and fibre industry, it is a great opportunity to create a circular economy by proactively interconnecting production
Strengthen Victoria's economic standing
But disruptions in global market access - particularly from our largest export partner, China - continue to throw a spanner in the works for Victorian producers. China's long been our country's most important trade partner with sales worth $4.75 billion in 2019-20.
But the recent series of punitive tariffs and export hurdles have raised serious questions on the need to better protect our producers from global market disruptions. The Nationals have already recognised this with a pledge to strengthen Victoria's economic standing with diversification into new markets.
No silver bullet solution
If elected to government in 2022, we'll use Victoria's trade agency, Global Victoria, to tap into emerging economies throughout Southeast Asia, India and North Africa with initiatives that showcase the tremendous food and fibre our state has to offer.
There's no silver bullet solution, but loading all our eggs back into the same basket that got us into this mess will only serve to hold our agribusinesses back. Yet this is exactly what the Andrews Labor Government has done with last month's launch of 'Vic House', a new trade hub located in Shanghai.
Crucial to securing our state's place
It's perhaps no wonder when Daniel Andrews more than halved efforts to develop new strategies to maintain and grow export opportunities in this year's State Budget. It follows the Premier's disastrous decision to sign Victoria up to the Belt and Road Deal with China - against the advice of the Commonwealth Government's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Diversification of our global markets will be crucial to securing our state's place as a key player on the global stage. Proactively seeking new opportunities to grow our export potential will ensure Victoria's high-quality food and fibre make its way onto even more tables and homes around the world.
Pictures from Food and Fibre Gippsland Facebook page.
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