Austrade, Marketing Online and Business Practice, General Manager, Nick Nichles said regional brands should be presented as part of brand Australia in international marketing campaigns.
"The concept of the shared vision of our food brand, clean, green and safe is something we can present as Australia, regional brands can sit underneath that," he said.
Mr Nichles said cities and states are wasting money building individual brands and regional profiles overseas. Rather these diverse groups should be presented as part of a marketing campaign for Australia.
"People recognise Australia first and might recognise a state after that but it is a long way down in terms of their knowledge," he said.
"Our view is we should combine a shared vision and understand how regions can fit into that."
On the topic of the risks to premium Australian products and quality due to the size of consumer demand, Mr Nichles said producers will not have to risk quality for quantity.
"The size of the middle class is growing…in China and India," he said.
"That leads to increased sophistication and demand for better products and as a high cost producer; clean and safe actually supports premium positions."
Mr Nichles also said Geelong has a comparative advantage because of the high level of university and industry collaboration for a regional area.
Hunter Valley Research Foundation, Chief Executive Officer, Wej Paradice also said universities are a critical starting point for establishing new businesses in regional areas.
Mr Paradice used the example of the role of the Minister for the Hunter in New South Wales as a mechanism to develop regional consultation and new directions for areas such as Geelong and the Hunter Valley.
The Gordon Project Manager for Skilling the Bay, Greg Leahy also noted the importance of the education institutions in the region.
"Education and training institutions have a critical role to play in supporting regions that are going through transitions," he said.
Additional speakers at the CEDA event included: