Governments can—and are expected to—play a big role in helping SMEs to globalise.
Since the first national Census 100 years ago, Australia has developed into one of the world’s great multi-cultural societies—especially in Victoria where the population is the fastest-growing and most diverse in Australia.
At the 2011 Census, the total population of Victoria was 5,354,039 persons, increasing by 8.5 per cent (or 421,617 persons) from the 2006 Census. Forty-seven per cent of Victorians were either born overseas or have at least one parent born overseas (an increase from 44 per cent in 2006).
Reflecting recent trends in migration to Victoria, overseas-born residents from North Africa and the Middle East, South East Asia, North East Asia and, in particular, Southern and Central Asia, have increased in both absolute numbers and as a proportion of the total population.
Chair of the Multicultural Ministerial Business Advisory Council Rohini Kappadath says Victoria’s multicultural business community brings linkages to global value chains to give SMEs a foothold in overseas markets.
“For SMEs seeking to internationalise, these home country networks provide a valuable starting point to build insight into the foreign competitive landscape,” Ms Kappadath said.
The Victorian Government has made international engagement a priority, through Government-led trade missions and a investment in their large network of global trade and investment offices.
These offices ensure that the trade missions facilitate substantial export growth, attract investment, foster research and develop partnerships between its regional neighbours.
For its part, the Victorian Government is committed to programs and policies that support the shared benefits of multiculturalism. The networks, languages and cross-cultural knowledge within our communities empower our state to make the most of its international influences and connections.
Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis said: “Victoria is the most culturally diverse state in the country and we need to ensure that all businesses have the support they need to grow, which will provide better prosperity and more job opportunities for local communities.”