MELBOURNE, Australia - Australian state of Victoria will showcase its capabilities in key areas such as information and communication technology, biotechnology, sustainable urban development, education, tourism and the arts during a week-long program of events at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
The state premier John Brumby officially launched Victoria Week in Melbourne on Monday, saying it would show the world the state's strength as a major trade, investment and cultural partner of China.
Brumby said Victoria Week, which runs from May 17 to May 23 in the Australia Pavilion, would provide unprecedented opportunities for local businesses to strengthen their links with Victoria's largest trading partner and attract investments to the state.
China is Victoria's largest trading partner, second largest export market and will be its biggest tourism market by 2012, Brumby said.
China accounts for Victoria's second largest share of international students from the higher education and vocational education and training sectors, with more than 40,000 students enrolled in Victorian courses this year, a 23 percent increase on the previous year, he said.
Brumby said more than 40,000 people are expected to visit the Australia Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo each day and that's why Victoria has a strong presence.
"Our focus will be on attracting investments that generate jobs, showcasing Victoria's innovation and development strength and boosting our reputation of a great state in which to live, work, study and travel. And in keeping with the Expo's theme Better City, Better Life, we will strongly market Victoria's environment and urban development credentials and our commitment to sustainable, liveable communities."
"The modernization of China's economy and infrastructure and its fast growing middle class offers many exciting new opportunities that will create more skilled jobs and export dollars for Victoria," Victoria's Industry and Trade Minister Jacinta Allan said.
She said Victoria's strong relationship with China was also underpinned by a thriving local Chinese community that dates back over 150 years and through the state's sister-state relationship with Jiangsu Province and sister-city relationship between Melbourne and Tianjin.
The 2010 Shanghai World Expo starts in May and terminates at the end of October. It will be staged near the Shanghai city center and will cover 5.28 square kilometers on both sides of the Huangpu River.
It will involve nearly 200 countries and 50 international organizations and is expected to attract more than 70 million visitors.