Victorian businesses are one step closer to unlocking the trade and investment opportunities of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, with a historic agreement between Victoria and China signed in early October.
The Belt and Road Initiative is one of the world’s largest and most ambitious trade and infrastructure plans. It seeks to revive the Silk Road by creating two modern transit and trade corridors between China and Europe. In 2017, Mr Andrews was the only Australian state leader invited to attend the Belt and Road Forum.
The Victorian government has encountered recent criticism about the secrecy of the agreement but details of the MOU were released a few days ago. It references co-operation between Victoria and China on trade, joint research, knowledge sharing and promoting the Digital Silk Road strategy.
A Victorian company is delighted that their state government is forging a strong relationship and boldly pursuing opportunities in China. Edtech company, Syncordia recently signed an agreement with a large Chinese government owned organisation to co-operate on introducing, approving and distributing quality Australian educational resources into China.
Carlton Taya, founder and CEO of Syncordia, describes this breakthrough agreement in China as unique. “It offers educational institutions, global publishers and authors a legitimate model to distribute their resources while protecting their all-important copyright”.
According to Taya, China’s education market is expected to grow to $600 billion by 2020 up from $520 billion in 2015. “With the Chinese government’s investment in universities and its latest plan to develop a world class higher education system, means that the research capability and international reputation of its best universities are growing rapidly” states Taya. He adds that Chinese academics are actively searching for international content that can assist their research projects.
The People’s Republic of China impose strict regulations on the importation of international educational material, which is why Syncordia is establishing a business model that streamlines how Australian educational providers and others can do business in China.
China’s Belt and Road strategy will open new opportunities for further collaboration between China and Australian companies such as Syncordia to export the combined knowledge and capabilities into developing education markets in the ASEAN region.