The Hon Luke Donnellan MP - China, 11-17 March 2017

  • Minister: The Hon. Luke Donnellan MP
  • Portfolio Minister for Roads & Roads Safety Minister for Ports
  • Countries visited: China
  • Date of travel 11 -18 March 2017
  • No. of official travel days (including date of departure and date of return): 8 days
  • Number of accompanying ministerial staff: 1
  • Accompanied by spouse in an official capacity: No
  • Funding for the overseas trip was paid by: Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources
  • Air fares (including taxes and fees):$10,048.00*
  • Accommodation (including taxes and fees): $4,678.00*
  • Other expenses (includes surface travel and travel allowances): $2,126.00*
  • Travel cost for minister and staff $16,852.00*
  • *The above costs are not final and complete

Purpose of travel

The purpose of my travel to China was to progress the objectives of the Victorian Government's China Strategy (Victoria's New China Strategy : Partnerships for Prosperity) in relation to Chinese and Victorian ports and their role in facilitating increased trade and investment between China and Victoria.  

The visit enabled strengthened relationships between Victoria and key Chinese government officials and industry stakeholders and enabled me, in my role as Minister for Ports, to identify opportunities to improve Victoria's trade and investment prospects with China through the creation of regulatory, operational and supply chain efficiencies.   

Benefits of travel to the state of Victoria

The primary benefits of this travel have been; strengthening relationships with key Chinese government officials, industry representatives and port operators; gaining insight into the operations and priorities of Chinese ports including their transport connections; and deepening Victoria's shared understanding of China's growing interests and participation in import/export markets and international ports and logistics operations.        

While in China I met with the following Government and industry representative groups to progress the above objectives:

Port Owners and Operators  

Tianjin Municipal Government officials

While in Tianjin I was hosted by the Vice Mayor of Tianjin, Mr Zhao Haishan, to discuss and progress the strong existing relationship Tianjin shares with Victoria.

We discussed the rapid growth of Tianjin as a city, and its port, and the network challenges this growth brings – including the need to manage congestion, supply chain efficiencies and pollution levels while at the same time facilitating the growth of the port as a key economic driver.

We discussed the role of inland ports and new technologies as part of the solution.

We discussed  the regulatory environments in China and Australia and how our tiers of government can work together to ensure port processing that guarantees the integrity of our products and streamlines the movement of Victorian and Chinese goods.            

Tianjin Port Authority and Tianjin Port Site Visit

I  was briefed by the Vice President Tianjin Port Group Co., Mr Wang Wei, on the history, operation and planned growth of the Port of Tianjin.

We discussed the regulatory and operational environment the port of Tianjin operates within, and the Victorian Government's interest in facilitating increased trade between Victorian ports and the port of Tianjin.

I later toured the port's operations to gain insight into the day to day operation of the port and the scale of a planned expansion.    

Shanghai Municipal Transport Commission
I met with the Deputy Director-General of the Shanghai Municipal Transport Commission, Mr Zhang Lin, to progress Victoria's relationships with Shanghai ports operations.

I was encouraged by the learnings Victoria can take from the historical development of Shanghai port operations – particularly the measures deployed to manage rapid population growth, congestion, and metropolitan land management issues relating to port developments.

We discussed the Commission's interest in strengthening its relationship and dealings with Victoria, and in identifying new trade opportunities to grow import and export volumes between Victorian ports and Shanghai.   

Shanghai Yangshen Deep Water Port   
I visited the Shanghai Yangshen Deep Water Port and was provided an overview of the ports operations by senior officials.

The port, one of the biggest in the world, moves more than 37 million TEU a year and is located on an island roughly 30km off-shore (connected to the mainland via a man made bridge spanning this distance).

Through a recent process of reclaiming land, and the introduction of improved port machinery and technology, the port has grow even larger and achieved operational efficiencies.

While on site we discussed learnings associated with port planning and development, and how these learnings could inform the future development of the Port of Melbourne, as well as any future Victorian container and bulk port developments.  

Ports Industries

Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company (ZPMC)
While in Shanghai I met with officials from ZPMC to discuss ZPMC's interests in international ports, heavy machinery and shipping, and opportunities for the Victorian Government to assist in facilitating growth and investment in the sector.

I encouraged ZPMC to consider Melbourne as a location as it expands its corporate footprint, a discussed with ZPMC how this would complement its existing investment in, and dealings with, Victoria. 

TEWOO Group
While in Beijing I was briefed by the TEWOO Group which has recently established an office in Melbourne to increase its presence in, and trade with, Victoria.

We discussed the movement of commodities through Victorian ports and supply chains and the technologies that support this - particularly with regard to agriculture, coal and gas. 

COSCO Shipping
In Shanghai I met with the Executive Vice President of COSCO Shipping, Mr Huang Xiaowen, and discussed COSCO Shipping's recent merger with China Shipping.

We discussed COSCO's significant interests in dry bulk, containers, tankers, LNG, shipyards, ports, cruise and specialist services, and how these interests intersect with

Victoria's ports and shipping economy

International Finance and Industry Representatives  
China Investment Corporation (CIC) Capital

I met with CIC Capital Corporation in Beijing,  a group with significant interests in Victoria which have recently grown through a holding in the lease of the Port of Melbourne. In addition to its holding in the Port of Melbourne, CIC Capital has invested heavily in Victoria and anticipates this trend to continue into the future.

JD.COM
While in Beijing I was hosted by JD.COM to discuss its growing role in facilitating the promotion, sale and movement of Australian products between Victoria and China and within Australia via its world wide platform and delivery systems.

We discussed opportunities for the Victorian Government to work with JD.COM to continue to grow, both across the JD.COM platform and the growing e-commerce sector more broadly, particularly with regard to port regulations, supply chain efficiencies and warehousing.

AusCham Beijing and AusCham Shanghai
With the support of the Australian Chamber of Commerce I participated in a discussion with a range of small, medium and large enterprises regarding opportunities and barriers to trade for Victoria and China.

We discussed the current regulatory environments these enterprises  work within and the areas in which the Victorian Government can assist in growing trade opportunities, reducing barriers to trade and also inhibitors of growth.

China Easy Pass Info Tech and APEX Logistics
In Shanghai I was hosted by the founder of HSCODE and China Easy-Pass Information Technology Co., Mr Mao Jiayuan, and the CEO of APEX Logistics, Mr Tony Song.

We discussed their organisations' experiences in dealing with Victoria and how Victorian ports and their supply chains can facilitate increased imports and exports between Australia and China.   

ChemChina
During a meeting in Beijing, ChemChina officials outlined their organisations current interests in Victoria, and options for ensuring the sustainable growth of these interests.

We discussed the role of the Port of Melbourne, logistics hubs and Victorian supply chains in supporting ChemChina to achieve this objective.

Media interview with SMG YiCai Business Channel 
In Shanghai I was interviewed by the SMG YiCai Business Channel.

In this interview I promoted the good will that exists between China and Victoria, and the growing prospects and opportunities that exist between our countries, particularly in relation to trade.

Next steps / follow up
This trip has generated a range of future engagements between Victorian and Chinese Government and industry officials to further progress Government and commercial interests in Victorian and Chinese ports, regulations and supply chains.

The trip has built on and re-enforced the ongoing conversations had by other Victorian and Chinese government officials including the Victorian Premier.