Ministerial overseas travel
Ministerial overseas travel - November 2011
The provision of the information below is consistent with Guidelines for Ministerial Overseas Travel issued in January 2011 and includes benefits and costs related to international travel.
Minister's name/portfolio: The Hon. Ryan Smith MP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change
Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity: No
Number of accompanying ministerial staff: Three (including one Advisor, one DEPI official and one EPA official)
Countries visited: China, Hong Kong
Date of travel: 24 November – 2 December 2011
Number of official travel days: 9
Funding for the overseas trip is paid by (department/s or agency): Department of Environment and Primary Industries
Travel cost: $28,841.68
Purpose of travel
The travel to China aimed to capitalise on opportunities to generate export prospects for Victorian environmental services businesses and to strengthen existing official relationships between Victorian and Chinese Environment Protection Authorities:
- China faces substantial pollution challenges. This presents significant export opportunities for Victorian companies with environmental remediation expertise, including a number of Victorian companies that attended the China International Environment Protection Industry Expo 2011 in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province.
- Opportunities also exist for clean tech industry and investment, including companies looking to invest in Victoria.
- Opportunities to build upon Victoria's sister-state relationship with Jiangsu Province on matters relating to environmental services business opportunities.
- Opportunities to build upon the specific Memorandum of Understanding between Hunan Province Environment Protection Department and the Victorian Environment Protection Authority, and to develop an MOU and potential sister city relationship with Xiang Tan in Hunan Province.
Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria
The travel included attendance at the China International Environment Protection Industry Expo 2011 in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, as well as meetings with a broad range of representatives from organisations either directly involved, or with a strong interest in environmental remediation in the region.
These activities provided opportunities for information exchange and relationship building, which will assist in sharing best practice activities between government agencies in China and Victoria, and in exploring mutual business and investment opportunities into the future. In particular, the trip further strengthened Victoria's relationship with its sister state, Jiangsu Province, and has created opportunities to build upon the Memorandum of Understanding that is in place between the Hunan Environment Protection Department (EPD) and Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria.
Specific activities to be progressed as a result of the travel include:
- Implementation of action under Memorandum of Understanding between Hunan EPD and EPA Victoria relating to secondment of a senior Hunan EPD official to EPA Victoria in mid 2012.
- Investigation of potential sister city relationship between Xiang Tan City (Hunan Province) and an appropriate Victorian regional city.
- Investigation of MOU between Xiang Tan and EPA Victoria, focusing initially on environment protection opportunities, with potential to broaden to general economic and social development opportunities.
- Follow up by the Minister, DEPI and EPA Victoria with key Victorian businesses represented in Jiangsu Province and Shanghai relating to environmental services commercial opportunities.
The above report has been noted by the DEPI Secretary and approved by Minister Smith and the Premier: