May 2016 Focus Group – Trade Victoria

On 11th of May, CEO Dr Krystal Evans was invited to contribute to an industry focus group on Trade Victoria, to provide perspectives on the current level of industry understanding and engagement with Trade Victoria’s service offering and how companies can best utilize the available resources.

The discussion included representatives from a number of industry sectors and explored the role and value of government Trade Missions, the barriers to market entry in different geographies and the need for industry-led consultation on Trade Victoria’s activities. An emerging view from the group was that Trade Mission activity greatly benefited from leveraging industry knowledge through collaboration and consultation with existing networks and associations.

The lack of funding support for SMEs to participate in trade missions was identified as a key barrier. It was proposed that there be a return to the highly successful Trade and International Partnering (TRIP) program targeted to startups and SMEs. This program created benefits not only for individual companies accessing global markets and international expertise, but for the broader sector by sending brand ambassadors into international markets, conferences and conversations to profile and market the leading capabilities here in Victoria.  The metrics associated with Trade Missions, in terms of defining success was also discussed; as it need to be acknowledged that it takes time to build trade relationships and that outcomes of trade missions often fall outside of the reporting period, as large deals and contracts are the result of multiple points of engagement.

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