Commissioners To Boost Trade, Investment With Americas

VIC Premier

Victoria’s strong focus on export recovery and international investment attraction continues with the appointment of new senior trade executives to drive growth in the crucial United States, Canadian and Latin American markets.

Minister for Trade Martin Pakula today announced the appointment of Ms Caroline Edwards and Mr Nigel Warren as Victoria’s new Commissioners for Victoria to the Americas, bringing with them significant experience and expertise that will help Victoria leverage economic opportunities available in the region.

Ms Edwards will be based in New York to oversee Victoria’s trade and investment attraction activities with the US East Coast and Canada, while Mr Warren will be based in San Francisco to focus on our trade and investment ties on the US West Coast and in Latin America.

A lawyer and mediator, Ms Edwards has held senior roles with the Commonwealth Government and has represented Australia as an executive board member of the World Health Organisation.

Mr Warren is a former Australian Consul-General in the US who also held Senior Trade Commissioner roles in San Francisco and Santiago, Chile. He is also a member of the Council on Australia Latin America Relations.

The appointment of two Commissioners to the Americas underlines the importance of the region to Victoria’s export performance.

The United States is Victoria’s second largest trading partner with two-way trade valued at $14.5 billion in 2019-20 and has long been the number one source of foreign direct investment into Victoria. The US economy provides Victorian businesses with significant export opportunities in digital and medical technologies, pharmaceuticals, food and agriculture, defence and aerospace, and tourism.

Latin America is the world’s most urbanised region with 80 per cent of the population living in cities and towns, providing a growing market for Victorian exporters.

Victoria’s strong capabilities, particularly in the digital technology sectors and health and life sciences, have made the state a destination of choice for world-leading companies from North America such as Illumina, AWS, Square, Zendesk, Canopy Growth and Sledgehammer.

Two-way trade with Latin America topped $1.9 billion in 2019-20, driven by international education, mining and engineering technology and services, agricultural innovation, digital technologies, professional services, medical technology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

Victoria has recently secured a number of investments from Latin American companies, including games developer Cocodrilo Dog and Chilean-based international designer and manufacturer Conymet Duratray, who have both relocated their global headquarters to Melbourne.

As stated by Minister for Trade Martin Pakula

“We’ve got top-notch negotiators posted around the globe because every deal done means stronger Victorian businesses and more jobs for Victorians.”

As stated by Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas

“Trade and investment are critical to our economic recovery and creating jobs, so it’s great to have representation in these markets to directly promote Victoria as a trade and investment destination of choice.”

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