For Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ), 2017–18 was a year of working hard to grow collaboration with other trade-focused and investment-focused organisations.
Examples are many – ranging from our work with Queensland Treasury Corporation and Queensland Investment Corporation to deliver two overseas trade and investment missions led by then-Treasurer the Honourable Curtis Pitt MP, to our significant role in delivering the successful Trade 2018 trade and investment program along with the City of Gold Coast and the Office of the Commonwealth Games.
TIQ staff not only worked to attract 38 international delegations from more than 25 countries to Trade 2018 activities, which ran in conjunction with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in April 2018, but also delivered important parts of the program and organised meetings and follow-up activities with participants.
As noted by the TIQ Chair in his statement, TIQ played a similar role in other significant trade and investment promotion activities during the year, including Beef Australia 2018, the Myriad innovation festival, and the Northern Australia Investment Forum.
TIQ’s opportunities for further collaboration continue to grow as we progressively deliver the initiatives of the Advancing Trade and Investment – Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 and the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.
It was an important step for us to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Local Government Association of Queensland in February 2018. Through this collaboration, we can enhance the support and training provided to local governments’ trade and investment activities.
And, through our International Education and Training Partnership Fund, which co-funds initiatives that drive growth in the international education and training sector, we supported 29 projects in 2017–18.
TIQ also had another productive year in terms of outcomes.
We provided more than 750 export opportunity leads to Queensland companies, resulting in 248 export deals.
We acted on more than 175 investment leads and helped attract 18 inward investment deals.
Our Business and Skilled Migration Queensland team nominated 600 business migrants and 1,350 skilled visa migrants, who are expected to invest $1.38 billion into the Queensland economy and create more than 2,000 jobs.
We arranged 11 Minister-led overseas missions, including 2 led by the Premier, which produced significant outcomes: among them, new movie productions for the Gold Coast, and the official opening of the Queensland Innovation Hub in Dubai South, which will help local companies explore opportunities in one of the world’s largest master-planned urban communities.
During the year we also increased our capacity to help Queensland companies and promote the state internationally by expanding our presence in the important ASEAN markets of Singapore and Indonesia.
Here in Queensland, we opened an expanded North Queensland office in Townsville and located a principal trade and investment officer in Ipswich.
The 2017–18 year saw several significant personnel changes. In July 2017, the Queensland Government announced the appointment of Linda Apelt, a former director-general of several Queensland Government departments, as the London-based Agent-General for Queensland in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Europe.
Also in July, we welcomed Richard Watson as General Manager, Queensland Operations. Richard was previously the Deputy Director-General – Sport and Recreation Services, with the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing.
In January 2018, Toni Brownie joined TIQ as General Manager, International Operations, filling the vacancy left by Michelle Wade, who is now representing Victoria, based in India. I thank Michelle for her work during the important first years of TIQ’s development as a statutory body.
Toni hit the ground running and was able to immediately apply her previous experience as the Manager, Economic Development and Program Manager with the Gold Coast City Council to our Trade 2018 activities.
We also recruited two new overseas-based trade and investment commissioners when roles became vacant due to resignations – Gitesh Agarwal, as commissioner for India, and Patrick Hafenstein, as commissioner for Taiwan.
I welcome all our new appointees and thank all TIQ’s staff, both in Queensland and overseas, for another year of dedicated and professional service.
I believe TIQ is well placed, particularly given our growing level of collaboration with other agencies that focus on trade and investment, to continue playing a central role in supporting economic growth in Queensland.
Chief Executive Officer
Trade and Investment Queensland