ARARAT - Three businesses from the Ararat region have travelled to China as part of a super trade mission led by Premier Ted Baillieu.
Representatives from AME Systems, Montara Estate Wines and Ararat Meat Exports are among more than 600 delegates representing more than 400 Victorian companies participating in the mission - The largest ever to leave Australian shores.
The mission is part of a substantial push from the Victorian Coalition Government to generate new jobs, attract investment and establish new trade ties with China.
James Stapleton, whose family owns Montara Estate and Ararat Meat Exports, said the trip would provide an opportunity to reconnect with their existing customers in China.
He said Ararat Meat Exports sent loads of sheep and lamb skins to China, along with offal.
Mr Stapleton said the trade mission would also give the business a chance to explore the opportunity to obtain a licence to export meat to China in the future.
The Stapletons will tour six cities in seven days and will also look to tap into the government and corporate gifting market with their Montara Estate wines.
"The Chinese like to celebrate a number of festivals throughout the year and it is customary to hand out gifts," Mr Stapleton said.
Mr Stapleton said companies often purchased whole container loads of wine, cigars or cognac, which were given to their employees as gifts. He said premium western gifts, in particular Australian wines, were popular.
Managing director of AME Systems, Peter Carthew said Chinese industry had a massive impact on the rest of the world.
General manager, Dean Pinniger and manager of sales and engineering, Nick Carthew left for China last Wednesday.
Peter Carthew said the trade mission would allow AME Systems to increase its knowledge of what was happening in other parts of the globe.
He said it would also provide a chance to see if it would be beneficial for AME Systems to trade with China, as well as giving the business a chance to source materials.
"There's a big interchange in China. A lot of things happen in and out of there," he said.
Premier Ted Baillieu said companies and businesses from across 15 major sectors of the Victorian economy were represented on the super trade mission, including food and beverage, ICT, financial and professional services and tourism.
"More than 80 percent of the businesses on this super trade mission are small to medium enterprises and 42 percent have never been to China before," he said.
"More than 2000 business-to-business meetings have been organised to give Victorian companies an opportunity to gain a foothold in the world's fastest-growing economy."
Mr Baillieu said there were great opportunities in China for businesses to attract new jobs and investment to Victoria.
"The number of Chinese householders who are mainstream consumers is increasing rapidly, altering patterns of consumption and leading to greater demand for high-quality products and services," Mr Baillieu said.
"Victoria's service-based economy and world-class food producers are well positioned to take advantage of this growing demand."
Delegates are to meet with key figures in government, business and finance to promote their businesses and Victoria as an opportunity for investment.