Melbourne’s reputation as one of the world’s most liveable cities – number one for seven years in a row – is a powerful endorsement to countries like China, where there’s a growing demand for services and products to improve water, air and soil quality.

With experience and expertise in building liveable cities and places, Victoria is well placed to meet this demand.

In China, LVI’s activities support the Victorian Government’s China Strategy – Partnerships for Prosperity – and deliver on the strategy’s commitment to promote Victorian expertise in creating liveable cities in Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces.

Jiangsu Province has been Victoria’s sister state in China for forty years. In 2016, the Andrews Government signed an additional sister state agreement, with Sichuan Province, one of China’s fastest growing provinces.

Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province is a significant commercial centre in China. It markets itself as a liveable city – prioritising green space and water sensitive urban design. For Victoria, there’s real opportunity to share our liveability sector expertise here.

Jiangsu Province is similarly committed to achieving greater standards of liveability, particularly through China’s Sponge Cities program, which aims to turn cities into sponges, soaking up stormwater, filtering pollutants and in some cases providing water for reuse.

Since 2016, LVI has worked with its partners to promote Victorian expertise around the liveability sector in China, investing in new business relationships and connections in Jiangsu and Sichuan Provinces.

It’s enormously helpful to have a government to government introduction in China, at any level… if LVI could take us into other provinces in China, that’s certainly of interest to us.
Jim Tanner, CEO, Envirostream Solutions

Together, we have achieved

  • A Memorandum of Understanding with Jiangsu Province’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Development about collaboration on Sponge Cities and environmental issues.
  • A partnership with Sichuan Province on liveability including a liveability forum in Chengdu in 2016, and a liveability program in Melbourne in 2017 for Sichuan government officials.
  • A liveability trade mission to Jiangsu and Sichuan Provinces in 2018.

By investing in projects with liveability goals like improved water, air and soil quality, China has much to gain from Victorian leaders in the liveability sector – while offering massive opportunities, through the scale of its programs, for Victorian businesses in the export market.

Recent trade missions have proved very useful in establishing connections and relationships between Victorian liveability experts and the increasing number of Chinese companies keen to adopt new technology and solutions across their cities.

Since 2013, the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC), based at Monash University, has been working with the City of Kunshan in Jiangsu Province to guide its transformation into a water sensitive city.

As part of its transformation, Kunshan is developing a 10-ha innovation park, to demonstrate and commercialise leading water technology, with support from LVI and Global Victoria, as well as numerous Victorian liveability sector businesses.

More than $240 million AUD in capital works have been directed towards improving the city’s water quality, flood protection and liveability. The success of this led to the city embarking on an ambitious capital works program of $1 billion AUD in public and private investments.

The success of the partnership with the City of Kunshan provided the template and catalyst for expanding Victorian enterprise participation to transform more cities and towns in Jiangsu Province. It’s enormously helpful to have a government to government introduction in China, at any level. In addition to our ongoing work in Kunshan, we now have the opportunity to immediately influence capital works investments in a further two cities to be nominated by Jiangsu Province which will strengthen pathways to market for Victorian expertise.
Professor Tony Wong, Chief Executive, CRCWSC

Collaborations like those between LVI and CRCWSC bolster the opportunity for Victorian businesses to share their expertise in China, particularly through trade missions, to meet the growing demand for leadership in cleantech and urban design solutions.

Jim Tanner, CEO of Envirostream Solutions, has participated in several state and federal delegations to China and found that LVI and Global Victoria’s 2018 mission to China offered a more targeted approach.

“One of the benefits I observed was that LVI understands where each business has come from – so they begin to understand your objectives very well, which makes for a targeted mission,” says Jim. “The introductions you make as a result are right on the money.”

“They’re very good advisers and identify targets in the commercial space or with state players, so you get to position your brand with government, municipal and city officials,” says Jim, who expects the outcomes of the China mission to be “significant.”

It’s enormously helpful to have a government to government introduction in China, at any level. The big advantage of trade missions like this one is that the other party is already interested and welcoming and people know what you’re offering.
Jim Tanner, CEO, Envirostream Solutions

Lingxue Kong, Professor (Research) at Deakin University’s Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) was a delegate on the 2018 liveability trade mission to China, having worked with LVI to share expertise around developing membranes to assist with water treatment and filtration.

“Our delegation consisted of industry leaders and researchers in water. We visited Kunshan, which is just 50 kilometres from Shanghai, in a region that is covered by an enormous amount of water and has issues with flooding and contamination,” says Lingxue.

“As a research institute within a university, we were quite unique and the only group working on materials,” he says. “The trip was fantastic. We met with some excellent companies, mostly from China and Australia.”

“Because I’m from China and understand the culture, Australian companies approached me to see how they could access the Chinese market; Chinese companies wanted to know how we could help them with their research and innovations,” says Lingxue.

Page last updated: 04/05/20