“Our best performing regions are characterised by the presence of policy makers, individuals and groups who possess a shared vision of their region’s future and actively share ideas and experiences in order to shape new business opportunities that will benefit the local economy, and the state more widely,” said Chief Executive Mark Stone.
Victorian Chamber’s Victoria Summit 2015 policy paper, Regional Victoria Means Business, contains a number of recommendations to support regional global business connections including:
- Develop a strategy and action plan to leverage regional opportunities created by Free Trade Agreements and assist Victorian regional SMEs to take advantage of these.
- Fund a new $5 million Regional Trade and Investment Ready Program, delivered by industry, to identify and support Victorian regional SMEs seeking inward investment.
- Allocate $2 million to create a Regional Small Business: Global Opportunities promotion and information campaign to raise awareness among regional small business of export opportunities.
- Grow the Victorian Jiangsu Business Program to help regional businesses develop new links, capabilities and mutually productive trade and investment opportunities with counterparts in China.
- Accelerate the Food to Asia Action Plan to capitalise on Free Trade Agreements and stimulate employment in agribusiness and agrifood research, processing and distribution.
- Expand successful models of regional leadership and development in communities that would benefit from a more structured leadership framework. This will help enhance local vision and provide further support to locally driven strategic development, along with inter-regional collaboration.
Other priority areas addressed at the Victorian Chamber Victoria Summit 2015 include:
- Supporting regional small business.
- nvesting in strategic regional infrastructure and leveraging regional business capabilities.
- Strengthening regional skills, education and training.
- Accelerating regional land-use and new business investment opportunities.
- Growing regional Victoria through tourism and events; and
Strengthening regional service delivery and enhancing regional business decision making.
Priority projects by region have also been identified.
The Victoria Summit recommendations will form the basis of Victorian Chamber’s regional business agenda into 2016 and beyond, including for Victorian Chamber’s 2016-17 state budget submission and the next federal election.
“We cannot expect Victoria’s economic performance to be strong without vibrant, outward looking and competitive regional business,” said Mr Stone.