Invest Victoria has appointed their new Chief Executive Officer.
The former Australian ambassador to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Chris Barrett, will take on the role.
Invest Victoria was set up under the new Economic Development portfolio to help attract investment to the state and support the Andrews Labor Government’s economic growth agenda.
As part of its establishment, an extensive local and global search was conducted to find its first CEO.
Mr Barrett is a highly experienced leader internationally in government and public policy organisations, with experience spanning global economic and development agencies, and state and federal public sector.
Most recently, Mr Barrett was the Executive Director, Finance and Economics for the European Climate Foundation, which followed his role as the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the OECD.
In Australia, Mr Barrett is a former Deputy Secretary of the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Mr Barrett’s global experience representing Australia and depth of economic development and policy insight will boost Victoria’s strong track record in investment attraction.
In 2019, Invest Victoria has already facilitated several high profile foreign direct investment wins, including the selection of Melbourne as the first international city to trial Uber Air, the establishment of the Asia Pacific headquarters and R&D centre for major US biotech company Praxis Precision Medicines in Parkville and the Australian headquarters and distribution centre for global retail giant Kaufland.
Victorian Minister for Economic Development, Tim Pallas, said, “I’m delighted to announce that Chris Barrett will head up Victoria’s new investment attraction agency, Invest Victoria.
“Mr Barrett’s global experience and deep understanding of economic development will provide strong leadership for Invest Victoria to drive investment and business growth, securing Victoria’s long-term economic prosperity.”
Mr Barrett said, “Innovation and new technology are driving rapid changes to the global economy and taking advantage of this emerging opportunities is vital to maintaining and growing Victoria’s strong economy.
“I’m excited to take up this challenge and lead a new agency and a new approach to bring new investment to the state.”