July 2017

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Queensland export $ rise despite Cyclone Debbie

Recently released figures indicate that Queensland exports have continued to rise in value over the past year, despite the impact of Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie, which hit the state in March.

Queensland export cottonRecently released figures indicate that Queensland exports have continued to rise in value over the past year, despite the impact of Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie, which hit the state in March.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said the latest ABS figures showed the value of Queensland merchandise exports had grown 32.2% — or an increase of $15.5 billion — in the past year, to reach $63.4 billion in the 12 months to May 2017.

He said a significant rise in the value of coal exports was the primary driver behind the record export total, but exports of some agricultural commodities also rose in value.

‘The significant rise was driven largely by an increase in the value of coal exports, primarily hard-coking coal and, to a lesser extent, LNG exports,’ he said.

‘This was despite the impacts of TC Debbie, which caused significant disruption to coal exports in the May quarter.

‘While the volume of coal exports was down by an estimated 13.4 million tonnes compared to a year earlier, the nominal values were supported by a surge in coal prices.’

Mr Pitt said a number of agricultural exports also rose in value in the May quarter compared with the same period last year.

‘Crops exports increased $180 million over the year to May quarter 2017 to $474 million, driven largely by an increase in chickpea exports and, to a lesser extent, wheat,’ he said.

‘Cotton exports rose $61 million over the year to $188 million in the May quarter.’

Mr Pitt said the Queensland Government aimed to build on the state’s current record export performance, with a key focus on implementing the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

‘We know the value of exports is counted in more than dollars,’ he said.

‘At present one in five jobs in our state is supported by exports, so as we build exports we can build jobs as well, especially in regional communities.’

If you’re a Queensland business seeking advice on exporting your products, connect with TIQ today.

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$75 million committed for Townsville Port project

The Queensland Government has committed $75 million to a channel-widening project that will allow larger ships to access the Port of Townsville, subject to the project securing all required approvals.

Townsville Port and view from Mt StewartA channel-widening project that will allow larger ships to access the Port of Townsville will receive $75 million in Queensland Government funding, subject to the project securing all required approvals.

Minister for Ports Mark Bailey said the Townsville Channel Capacity Upgrade, which is still subject to finalisation of an environmental impact statement and business case assessment, had the potential to boost trade, create 120 full-time equivalent jobs, and support 8000 more jobs through industry.

‘The port is a critical trade supply chain handling around 10 million tonnes of produce worth over $10 billion each year,’ he said.

‘Being able to accommodate larger ships at the Port of Townsville will mean the region can continue to attract major private investment into regional growth areas.’

The new commitment builds on substantial prior investment in improvements at the port, including $2 million invested last year to construct a new cargo laydown area, which has since been heavily used.

A $40.7 million upgrade to double the capacity of Berth 4 at the port is also on track for completion by December this year.

The Port of Townsville has submitted an environmental impact statement for the channel-widening project to state and federal regulators for final assessment, and has also completed a business case.

The widening of the channel is a key initiative under the Townsville City Deal, a 15-year commitment between local, state and federal governments that was signed in December 2016.

If you’re looking for help to expand your business into overseas markets, connect with TIQ, the Queensland Government’s global business agency.

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Video reveals secrets to success in Hong Kong market

Queensland businesses wanting to succeed in Hong Kong can find up-to-the-minute market analysis and tips in a new video released by TIQ.

Queensland businesses wanting to succeed in Hong Kong can find up-to-the-minute market analysis and tips in a new video released by TIQ.

Market Insights: Hong Kong features Julie-Anne Nichols, TIQ’s Trade and Investment Commissioner for Hong Kong and Macau, explaining key trends and opportunities in this prestigious Asian market.

Ms Nichols said that the Hong Kong Government’s vision for the future opened up real opportunities for Queensland exporters and Queensland businesses seeking investors.

‘Earlier this year the Hong Kong Government announced its annual budget, which is pinned to its 2030 strategy for driving Hong Kong to be a more competitive, a more liveable and a more sustainable Asia city,’ she said.

‘We are looking at opportunities in infrastructure, connectivity … in community and liveability development projects, as well as the software that supports the community of Hong Kong.’

Ms Nichols said that Hong Kong could offer a business pathway into other nearby countries, and urged businesses planning to enter one Asian market to think about broader regional opportunities.

‘I’d encourage Queensland companies to step back before they race ahead looking at a single market visit to understand those interconnectivities, and the influence that players in a certain market may have in a third market,’ she said.

‘Our Trade and Investment Queensland network is there to help you do that.’

The two-minute Market Insights: Hong Kong video is the first in a new series being produced by TIQ.

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New China flights expected to boost tourism

New flights from Chinese airlines into Brisbane and Cairns are expected to deliver major boosts to Queensland tourism.

China flights QueenslandNew flights from Chinese airlines into Brisbane and Cairns are expected to deliver major boosts to Queensland tourism.

China Airlines has announced it will increase its Taipei–Brisbane services from four times per week to daily, while China Southern Airlines will now operate three direct flights per week from Guangzhou to Cairns.

China is Queensland’s largest market for international visitors, and the new flights into Brisbane are predicted to deliver up to 50,000 extra passengers to the state in their first 12 months.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the additional China Airlines flights would not only bring tourists from Taiwan but also those who could now transit through Taipei from other countries.

‘The Asian market is one of huge potential for Queensland’s tourism industry,’ she said.

‘China Airlines is a global airline with an extensive international network and these additional flights will deliver crucial access into Queensland from Taiwan.

‘Through the international aviation hub in Taipei, these extra services will open up additional access to other key markets including Japan, Korea, North America, Europe and the UK.’

The new China Southern flights from Guangzhou to Cairns will be the first-ever year-round services by a Chinese airline into Cairns, and the first to bring tourists directly from mainland China to the Great Barrier Reef.

They are expected to bring more than 33,000 Chinese visitors to Far North Queensland in their first year alone.

The Taipei–Brisbane flights were secured through the Queensland Government’s Attracting Aviation Investment initiative, while the Guangzhou–Cairns flights are the first under the government’s Connecting with Asia Fund.

Flights for both new services are due to touch down for the first time in December this year.

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World goes bananas for Queensland superfood

A North Queensland farmer is taking innovative banana products to the world, using a patented manufacturing system that can be exported to offshore markets.

TIQ Banana superfoodA North Queensland farmer is taking innovative banana products to the world, using a patented manufacturing system that can be exported to offshore markets.

Second-generation farmer Rob Watkins found new uses for green bananas after becoming frustrated at the number of bananas he had to dump from his Walkamin farm because they weren’t ‘perfect’  enough for supermarket sale.

Mr Watkins founded Natural Evolution Foods, a company that converts previously wasted green bananas into highly nutritious banana flour, health supplements, healing ointments and skincare.

To create his products, the inventive farmer successfully developed processing equipment that not only handled the notoriously difficult task of peeling green bananas but also preserved their nutritional and therapeutic qualities.

Strong growth has led the company to seek partnerships to expand manufacture of their products into other countries, and in early July they announced a major international deal with a South-East Asian company.

‘We’ve now confirmed a deal with a company in South-East Asia to construct and build a super-manufacturing facility (which will be sent overseas), and the beginning of Natural Evolution Foods International,’ Mr Watkins said.

‘The potential for these products is endless and what we’re doing now is just the tip of the iceberg.’

Mr Watkins said the company had already recruited up to 10 contractors in the past year, with 8 to 10 full-time jobs expected to be created next year.

“The new mega factory, to be built on our existing Walkamin site and sent overseas where it will be constructed, will allow even more jobs to be created in coming years,” he said.

Mr Watkins said the company used a $250,000 grant from the Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund as a platform to explore overseas interest in his technology.

Read more on Queensland’s food and agribusiness sector or contact Trade & Investment Queensland to find out how to expand your business opportunities.

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Apply now for new IET Innovator in Residence program

World-class thinkers from Australia and beyond are being encouraged to apply for Queensland’s new International Education and Training Industry Innovator in Residence program.

World-class thinkers from Australia and beyond are being encouraged to apply for Queensland’s new International Education and Training Industry Innovator in Residence program.

The program will fund innovators to spend one to six months working with TIQ’s International Education and Training Unit on a project that will contribute innovative ideas or address policy challenges to support Queensland’s international education and training sector.

Innovators will devise their own projects, which must meet the objectives of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026. Projects must also be significant, relevant, and have the capacity to transform IET in Queensland.

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt said Queensland was a leader in international education and training, and urged IET innovators from around the world to apply.

‘We’re looking for the best and brightest minds in international education,’ he said.

‘Trade and Investment Queensland wants industry leaders with out-of-the-box ideas to make Queensland the number one destination in the world for students.’

Up to three industry innovators will be appointed each year, with each expected to work primarily (but not exclusively) on location in Queensland.

Project payments will compensate successful innovators or contribute to the cost of their salary and/or project fees. Reasonable travel costs may also be covered, with project funding decided on a case-by-case basis.

Expressions of interest are due by 15 August. Shortlisted applicants will then give a 10-minute pitch by video conference, with the first innovators announced in September and projects starting in October.

Apply online

 

June 2017

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Business & Skilled Migration named awards finalist

BSMQ multicultural award finalistA business unit within Trade and Investment Queensland – Business & Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) –  is one of 24 finalists in this year’s Queensland Multicultural Awards.

These prestigious awards are an opportunity to acknowledge the important contribution of the many individuals, businesses and community groups who work tirelessly to promote an inclusive Queensland.

BSMQ is nominated in the Government (State and Local) category along with three other high-profile organisations in Queensland.

This year, 106 nominations were received across the following six categories:

  1. Individual – under 25 years
  2. Individual – 25 years and over
  3. Local club or community group
  4. Community sector organisation (not-for-profit)
  5. Business or company (e.g. industry, finance, media)
  6. Government (State and Local).

A winner will also be selected from all nominations for the Minister’s Multicultural Award. The winners will be announced at a gala lunch at the Logan Entertainment Centre on 6 August.

The awards are  part of Queensland Multicultural Month, which is being held for the second year in August and is the state’s largest celebration of multiculturalism.

For more information on the Queensland Multicultural Awards 2017 visit: www.qld.gov.au/QMA.

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New screening rules for US-bound air freight from 1 July

From 1 July 2017, all air freight sent directly from Australia to the US will need to comply with additional security screening requirements under new Australian legislation.

US Air FreightFrom 1 July 2017, all air freight sent directly from Australia to the US will need to comply with additional security screening requirements under new Australian legislation.

Queensland businesses that export or forward freight to the USA by air will be affected by the changes, and need to take steps to comply by the start date.

From 1 July, all air cargo being transported to the USA must either be examined at piece level (box, carton, pallet or another deconsolidated form) or originate from a ‘Known Consignor’. Affected businesses will either need to have their cargo inspected by an approved freight agent, or become approved as a Known Consignor.

You can find out more about the new requirements on the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website.

A free webinar on how to comply is also available from the Export Council of Australia.

The new requirements have been imposed on all airlines by the US Government, with a non-negotiable start date of 1 July.

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Cairns International Student Local Engagement Project

The Cairns Student Hub builds on the Cairns International Student Engagement program, which ensures international students feel both welcome and safe, and experience a strong sense of belonging to the local community throughout their stay in Cairns.

Cairns International StudentConsortium: Study Cairns

The Project: Cairns Student Hub

About the project:

The Cairns Student Hub builds on the Cairns International Student Engagement program, which ensures international students feel both welcome and safe, and experience a strong sense of belonging to the local community throughout their stay in Cairns.

Other initiatives of the program are The International Student Friendship Ceremony, Airport Welcome Desks, student and community integration programs, collection of data and research on student needs, and marketing activities.

During the ceremony students will be given a taste of Cairns tropical hospitality with a catered cruise alongside Study Cairns member organisation representatives. The Mayor, Cr Bob Manning OAM, will also formally welcome students.

The Cairns International Student Engagement program improves the experience of international students studying and living in Cairns. It provides a connected network of touch points for students so they feel supported and can make the most of their time in the region.

Learn more about the IET Partnership Fund and lodge your application before this round closes on 17 July 2017.

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IET Regional Roadshow proving to be a valuable experience

The IET Regional Roadshow is proving to be a valuable experience for all involved as representatives of the IETU travel around the state during June to consult and collaborate with industry.

IET Regional Roadshow 2017The IET Regional Roadshow is proving to be a valuable experience for all involved as representatives of the IETU travel around the state during June to consult and collaborate with industry.

The IETU have been very impressed so far with the turnout, which reflects the enthusiasm of the industry to get involved in networking and planning for the future of the sector. The start of the Roadshow also coincided with the announcement of the IET Partnership Plan – attendees have the chance to contribute their opinions at one of the Partnership Plan workshops when the Roadshow comes to their region.

The Roadshow will visit Cairns, Townsville, Gympie, the Sunshine Coast, and Rockhampton over the coming weeks. There is still time to register for the remaining Regional Roadshow events.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
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