The Minnesota Capital located in Saint Paul. Photo by Zack Benz

Governor Walz to lead trade mission to Australia to promote Minnesota business

2 mins read

Today, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is leading a trade delegation to Australia, with stops in the major business centers of Sydney and Melbourne.

The mission will focus on growing the state’s exports of goods and services, showcasing Minnesota as a top destination for business investment, and developing new partnerships. This will be Minnesota’s first-ever trade mission to Australia.

“Minnesota has a lot to offer Australia: cutting-edge technologies that are curing diseases and combating climate change, innovative research institutions, and agricultural products that are feeding the globe,” said Governor Walz. “We know how beneficial a strong relationship between Minnesota and Australia can be in creating jobs, promoting new investment in Minnesota, and strengthening trade agreements. We look forward to promoting Minnesota, our companies, and our workers on the global stage.”

The trip’s focus on medical technology follows last month’s announcement that the Biden Administration has designated Minnesota MedTech Hub 3.0 as one of the 31 inaugural Tech Hubs in regions across the country that show potential for rapid growth in key technology sectors.

“The Minnesota-Australia relationship presents tremendous opportunities for Minnesota businesses looking for new customers, and Australian companies looking to invest in the North American market,” said DEED Commissioner Matt Varilek. “With strong trade between our countries, a virtually zero-tariff free trade agreement and few societal, legal and language barriers, Australia is a natural, receptive, and important market for Minnesota goods and services.”

Australia is a large market for Minnesota, and there is significant room to grow.

“Minnesota’s farmers help feed the world, and we rely on strong relationships with international partners to accomplish this,” said Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. “That’s why it’s important for us to travel to Australia and demonstrate our value as leaders in agriculture. We have an opportunity to build these new and lasting relationships that will benefit both Australia and Minnesotans across the state.”

Minnesota’s total trade in goods with Australia in 2022 was valued at $579 million, with exports of $438 million and imports of $141 million. Australia was Minnesota’s 13th largest market for goods and 19th largest market for agricultural products last year.

The U.S. is Australia’s second-largest two-way trade partner, the largest investor in Australia and Australia’s largest foreign investment destination. Trade between the two countries – valued at $46 billion last year – has grown 14% since 2021. Australia’s business culture is straightforward and low barrier: it offers a familiar legal and corporate framework, sophisticated consumer and industrial sectors and shares English as the primary language.

One of the primary goals of this trade mission is to establish new relationships with businesses in key industries, including medical technology, clean technology, higher education, and agriculture.

As part of the trade mission, Governor Walz and Minnesota leaders will meet with Australian companies looking to buy goods from North America, promote Minnesota as a place for business investment, meet with local elected leaders, and facilitate business-to-business negotiations for Minnesota companies traveling in the delegation.

“Deepening trade ties. A strong bilateral relationship. A business culture welcoming to American imports and investment. Australia represents one of the best opportunities in the world for Minnesota companies looking to expand foreign trade,” said Gabrielle Gerbaud, executive director of the Minnesota Trade Office. “On this trade mission, Governor Walz, DEED, MDA and the Minnesota Trade Office will make sure Minnesota businesses and workers benefit from this relationship by opening new doors with potential trading partners in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and across Australia.”

Governor Walz will be joined by Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Matt Varilek, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen, and representatives from the Minnesota Trade Office. The state delegation will be joined by business organizations and leaders from across Minnesota, including representatives from:

  • Destination Medical Center
  • Medical Alley
  • Zopec Medical LLC
  • St. Cloud State University
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Cozen O’Connor
  • University of Minnesota Extension
  • University of Minnesota
  • Clean Energy Economy Minnesota
  • Naturally MN
  • Northarvest Bean Growers Association
  • Vessyll
  • Talon Metals
  • Metro Pros Human Resource Consulting
  • Newterra Corporation, Inc.
  • Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association
  • KnectIQInc.
  • Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures
  • Red Lake, Inc.
  • Alexandria Technical & Community College
  • SolarPod, Inc.
  • Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council
  • Imricor Medical Systems, Inc.
  • Fredrikson & Byron
  • Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Minneapolis
  • Minnesota Farmers Union
  • Minnesota Soybean

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