More of Queensland’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are being invited to apply for funding to travel to an overseas market to further their export ambitions.

The Exporter Market Engagement Program (EMEP) is an expanded version of a previous program, Developing Future Leaders, which delivered successful outcomes for the 9 Queensland SMEs who participated in 2018 and 2019.

The upgraded program provides an opportunity for up to 20 SMEs to engage with an export market in one of TIQ’s 16 overseas offices.

Successful applicants will be funded to travel to their selected market, where they will carry out market research and identify export opportunities for their products or services, with support from TIQ’s local staff.

TIQ Acting CEO Richard Watson said this was a unique opportunity for export-ready Queensland SMEs to gain the insights and networks that only come from on-the-ground experience.

‘The Exporter Market Engagement Program offers $7,000 to SMEs who are export-ready or already exporting to give them a helping hand into new markets,’ he said.

‘We are delighted to be able to use the TIQ overseas office network and in-market expertise to help them undertake targeted research and business development in overseas markets.

‘This program will give participants access to local knowledge, international networks and TIQ’s resources, which should give them a competitive edge in understanding and trading in overseas markets.’

A participant in the previous incarnation of the program, Roger Piva, Chairman of the Inkerman Cane Growers Organisation Limited, said spending time in his target market of Japan had brought real advantages over communicating remotely.

Mr Piva is working on a project to produce fuel pellets from cane tops and trash, which can be used as renewable power source.

‘We had already been working with Trade and Investment Queensland to promote our projects to potential investors and off-takers in Japan for over a year, but the program allowed representatives to travel to Japan and meet key stakeholders to promote the Burdekin Renewable Fuels Project,’ Mr Piva said.

‘The most valuable takeaway from our visit is confirmation that there is significant demand for our product.

‘This feedback would not be possible through emails or even videoconferences as the ability to be in the same room as potential investors and for them to see and feel our product is invaluable.’

Applicants to the program must employ fewer than 200 staff and have Queensland headquarters or significant Queensland operations.

Participants are expected to spend the equivalent of 2 weeks in the relevant market, submit a final report and contribute any funds over $7,000 required to complete the program.

TIQ is the Queensland Government’s global business agency, with offices in 16 locations in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Europe and the Americas.

For more information, a full list of potential destinations, and detailed guidelines visit our EMEP webpage or email marketengagement@tiq.qld.gov.au.

Applications close at midnight on Wednesday 20 November 2019.

The EMEP is an initiative of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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