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The Governor of Victoria's speech for the 2018 Export Awards. 

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The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, Innovation, Digital Economy and Small Business
Mr Craig Ondarchie MP, Shadow Minister for Investment, Jobs and Trade, Representing the Leader of the Opposition
Mr Brett Stevens, Victoria’s Commissioner for South East Asia
Distinguished guests
Ladies and gentlemen

First, I acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we are gathering and pay my respects to their Elders past and present and to any Elders here with us this evening.

Tony and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House to celebrate our State’s great exporters.

I am proud to be the Patron of these awards.

Across the four years that we have hosted this event, we have gained a keen appreciation of the cleverness, hard work, bold decision-making – and the pure tenacity – of the people behind the businesses nominated for awards.

Victorian goods and services exports continue to grow and reach record highs, growing by more than 10% last year, and contributing almost $50 billion to the Victorian economy in 2017.

It is pleasing to see the wide variety of businesses being awarded this year. Such diversity reflects what we are seeing in our international engagement work.

Widespread enthusiasm continues for our food and fibre, financial services, bioscience and education exports.

But interest also continues to grow in tourism (which has increased by 13%), and in our defence technology, mining technology and services, cyber security, gaming and creative industries, water management and urban planning.

Today gives me a wonderful opportunity to say, ‘thank you’.

Thank you to you, our exporters, who contribute to our successful trade relationships across the globe, and who create the jobs that employ so many Victorians.

The success of your businesses flows to the success of many others – through the supply chains, and through the fostering of a culture of continual innovation and improvement.

You, quite simply, help our State to prosper.

May I also thank everyone who makes these Awards a reality: including the judges tasked with the difficult job of selecting just one winner in each category.

It is a source of great pride that, in each of the past five years, a Victorian exporter has been announced as the Australian Exporter of the Year. Victorian businesses are leading the way across the nation, and demonstrating the innovation and resourcefulness that resides in our State.

Against that impressive backdrop, I wish all of this year’s winners well for the Australian Export Awards. No pressure!

And I wish you all the best for the next year and the opportunities it will bring.

And now, it is my pleasure to invite the Honourable Philip Dalidakis MP, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, to address you.