Biotech is a sector that was started in Victoria 10 years ago and is now valued at more than US$21 billion, said Dillon. In the last three years, Victoria's biotechnology companies have secured deals worth more than US$3.59 billion (AUS$4 billion), including partnerships with some of the world's biggest pharmaceutical and agricultural companies.
Corporate R&D expenditure has grown by 66 per cent, reflecting the growing maturity of our companies, he said. For example, CSL came up with the first cancer vaccine for cervical cancer.
Victoria and Malaysia could collaborate in agro-biotechnology among other areas, said Dillon. In addition, he said that the state's ICT industry accounted for 25 per cent of the Australia's national ICT revenue of about US$23 billion. "The ICT sector is therefore another strong area for Malaysia to collaborate with Australia. Malaysian agencies MOSTI (Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation), MDeC (Multimedia Development Corporation) and PIKOM (national ICT industry association) are currently in Victoria looking into collaboration opportunities."
"Victoria's ICT industry has more than 222,000 companies employing 84,000 staff, which accounts for 34 per cent of national IT industry employment," he said. "In terms of education, there are more than 22,000 students pursuing an ICT university course, which is the highest in Australia."
"It would be good for companies from both countries to operate in each other's territories," he said, adding that PIKOM's Outsourcing Malaysia team is looking to both Sydney and Melbourne to develop outsourcing opportunities. "For instance, gaming technology has been used in other sectors such as national broadband network, as well as education, healthcare software, and telemedicine."
Joint venture arrangements to manage third markets are another area, said Dillon. For instance, an Australian company could set up manufacturing centres in Malaysia in order to supply to a third market such as China.
Australia does not trade as well as it could in Asia and this is another reason why we are reaching out to Asian partners to drive mutually-beneficial expansion strategies, he said.
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