February 2018

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Cook Medical expands on back of exports

Medical device manufacturer Cook Medical Australia is adding 94 jobs in a second shift at its Eight Mile Plains facility to meet increasing export demand for its life-changing stent devices.

Medical device manufacturer Cook Medical Australia is adding 94 jobs in a second shift at its Eight Mile Plains facility to meet increasing export demand for its life-changing stent devices.

Stents are tiny, splint-like devices placed inside ducts or blood vessels to open passageways and restore blood flow.

Cook Medical is one of few companies in the world that manufactures stents to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms, and is also an Asia-Pacific leader in stent research and development.

General Manager Dr Samih Nabulsi said the company’s highly skilled manufacturing employees hand-sewed and hand-knotted each stent with polyester medical-grade thread, producing different and specific stent grafts for each patient.

‘Our employees take great pride in their work, as they know that these devices may be life-changing for patients,’ he said.

‘Our recruitment drive aims to bring on seven people a month this year to fill an eight-hour shift running from 2pm until midnight, Monday to Thursday.

‘The extra shift will mean 231 skilled technicians will be on site across 19 hours to deliver products to patients faster.’

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the staff growth would boost Cook Medical’s production by more than 50%.

Mr Dick said the Queensland Government was backing the biomedical sector through the $513 million Advance Queensland program.

‘By 2026 Queensland aims to be a recognised leader – nationally and internationally – for its advanced manufacturing in biomedical technologies, products, systems and services,’ he said.

‘It is growing companies like Cook Medical which are fuelling this vision.’

Queensland’s biomedical sector added $1.4 billion to the state’s economy in 2015–16.

It employed 9,440 people and is forecast to grow by up to 38% over the next 10 years.

The biomedical and life sciences sector is identified as an emerging export strength in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Cohort Go rolls out to 22 countries

A Brisbane-based company offering a digital payment platform for international students has signed a deal that will see its software rolled out to 22 countries worldwide.

A Brisbane-based company offering a digital payment platform for international students has signed a deal that will see its software rolled out to 22 countries.

Edtech company Cohort Go will partner with global education agent IDP Education, which places international students into more than 600 institutions across Australia, New Zealand, the USA, UK and Canada.

In the first phase of the partnership, 84 IDP branches will offer Cohort Go’s international platform to students in 14 countries, including China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and South Korea.

Cohort Go founder and CEO Mark Fletcher said the deal would give more students access to Cohort Go’s secure payment platform, and set a benchmark for other providers.

‘Not only will this deliver our Cohort Go platform to an increased volume of students, but it’s also a great opportunity to set up best practice within the industry by providing a secure payment platform to help ease the stress of studying overseas,’ he said.

‘Students and families can securely pay tuition fees, living expenses and other education-related fees in their local currency, with competitive exchange rates and no fees using our platform.’

Mr Fletcher said Cohort Go had already helped 50,000 students from 180 countries, and had grown its user base by 24% in the past six months.

The company has also recently expanded its offering, adding new services such as student health insurance to its platform.

Cohort Go began at River City Labs, a Brisbane incubator for entrepreneurs.

It has won a number of government awards for innovation, and been named on various lists of ‘start-ups to watch’.

TIQ has worked with Cohort Go in Queensland and overseas, including providing introductions, market analysis, meeting venues and conference support.

Supporting Queensland start-ups is one of the actions identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you think you have a product that could succeed in an export market, connect with TIQ.

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Inland Rail: Queensland contracts awarded

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has awarded more than $30 million worth of contracts in Queensland for engineering and environmental investigations related to the Inland Rail project.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) has awarded more than $30 million worth of contracts for Queensland engineering and environmental investigations related to the Inland Rail project.

Inland Rail is a $10.9 billion rail construction project to complete Australia’s national freight network by connecting Brisbane to Melbourne via regional Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

The completed project will be a high-capacity railway line that caters for growing freight volumes and provides a better supply chain for manufacturers and other exporters, especially those in regional areas.

Announcing the new contracts, Inland Rail Programme Delivery Director Simon Thomas said this was the first step in a complex design process.

‘We are at the beginning of a lengthy design process for Inland Rail in Queensland,’ he said.

‘These contracts allow us to progress an important piece of the puzzle, with environmental studies from Toowoomba down through the Lockyer Valley, Beaudesert and into Brisbane at Acacia Ridge and Bromelton.

‘They will help us understand more about the local geography, hydrology, flora and fauna, as well as air quality, noise and social factors, laying the groundwork for more detailed design work.

‘Throughout this process we will continue to work very closely with communities, councils and landowners to gather their feedback and feed that into the design.’

The Kagaru to Acacia Ridge and Bromelton contract, worth around $3.5 million, was awarded to Hatch Pty Ltd.

The contract for the three projects from Gowrie through to Kagaru, worth around $28 million, was awarded to the Future Freight Join Venture established by Aecom and Aurecon.

The Inland Rail project will build 500km of track in stages over 10 years, providing the ‘missing links’ to create a continuous 1700km line.

The line will connect to the Port of Brisbane from its first day of operation, with ongoing input during the project from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Freight routes play a critical role in export success, and supporting regional growth is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Peru–Australia FTA signed off

The new Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA) announced in November last year has now been signed, with Queensland agricultural producers likely to be some of the biggest winners when the new agreement comes into force.

The new Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement (PAFTA) has now been signed, with Queensland agricultural producers likely to be some of the biggest winners when the new agreement comes into force.

PAFTA is expected to deliver major benefits to Queensland sugar, dairy and beef producers, who will enjoy reduced tariffs and improved access to the lucrative $4.6 billion Peruvian agriculture market.

Tariffs will also be reduced on a range of other Australian products, including sheepmeat, wine, kangaroo meat, almonds, mining equipment, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.

PAFTA was announced in November last year, and signed on 12 February by Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo and his Peruvian counterpart Eduardo Ferreyros.

Announcing the signing, Mr Ciobo said Australia had negotiated PAFTA more quickly than any other free trade agreement, with discussions starting just nine months ago, in May 2017.

Both Peru and Australia must now complete their own domestic treaty-making processes before PAFTA can be implemented in coming months.

For Australia, this will include an inquiry into the PAFTA by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) inquiry.

Peru is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with an average annual growth rate of 5.9% over the last decade.

Queensland businesses exported $11.7 million worth of merchandise to Peru in 2016–17.

Supporting exports is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Queensland export values rise by 26%

The value of Queensland’s merchandise exports rose 26% in 2017, with resource exports holding strong and fruit and vegetable exports increasing, according to recently released trade data.

The value of Queensland’s merchandise exports rose 26% in 2017, with resource exports holding strong and fruit and vegetable exports increasing, according to recently released trade data.

New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the value of Queensland’s merchandise exports hit a record high of $69.6 billion for the 2017 calendar year, up $14.3 billion from 2016.

Growth in the value of the state’s exports was largely driven by an increase in the value of coal, LNG and minerals exports, particularly hard coking coal, which is used in steel production.

Queensland farmers also contributed to the record figures, with fruit and vegetable exports for 2017 increasing in value by 13.5% and in volume by 17.2%, off the back of strong demand from India and China.

Other Queensland success stories included exports of transport equipment (excluding road vehicles), which rose 40.5% to $249 million, and exports of professional and scientific equipment, which rose 29.5% to $175 million.

China remained the top destination for Queensland exports, with the value of merchandise sent to the Chinese market rising 40.2%.

Japan and India continued to occupy second and third place, with exports to those countries increasing in value by 26.3% and 33.6% respectively.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland was performing better than the national average, and making a major contribution to Australia’s export income.

‘Our exports are growing at a faster rate than the national exports, which grew at an impressive but slower rate of 16% last year,’ she said.

‘For every four dollars Australia earns from exports, one of those dollars is generated in Queensland.’

Increasing exports to generate local jobs is a key priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you’d like advice on getting your product into an export market, connect with TIQ.

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Lakeland Wind Farm approved for Cape York

A $200m wind farm at Lakeland on Cape York Peninsula will go ahead after receiving development approval from the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

A $200m wind farm near Lakeland on Cape York Peninsula will go ahead after receiving development approval from the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.

Lakeland Wind Farm will include up to 30 wind turbines and will produce around 100 megawatts of power for North Queensland, connected via the national electricity grid.

It will be constructed and operated by Australian company Windlab, which says the project will bring significant investment to the region.

Announcing the approval, Windlab CEO Roger Price said the company was looking forward to starting work after refining its proposal in consultation with members of the local community.

‘In securing approval, Windlab worked closely with the department and local community to optimise the project design to accommodate the property development plans of a project neighbour, reducing the number of possible turbine locations to 30 from 35 whilst ensuring that the project remained viable and competitive,’ Mr Price said.

‘Lakeland Wind Farm is an exceptional project and we eagerly anticipate starting construction this year.’

The new wind farm will be located 60km south-west of Cooktown on the Cape York Peninsula, not far from Lakeland township.

It is expected to take about a year to construct, and create around 200 jobs during construction.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said ongoing private sector investment, like Windlab’s, was concrete endorsement of Queensland’s renewable energy policy.

‘Our 50% renewable energy generation target by 2030 has encouraged an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment in around two dozen large-scale projects that are currently financially committed to or under construction right across the state,’ Dr Lynham said.

‘When complete, these projects will more than double Queensland’s renewable energy output and produce enough electricity to power around 987,000 homes.’

Lakeland Wind Farm will operate for at least 25 years and generate enough power to supply more than 50,000 homes – roughly the number of households in Cook Shire, Mareeba Shire, Tablelands Region, and northern Cairns suburbs combined.

Windlab is also working on Kennedy Energy Park near Hughenden, a hybrid wind-solar facility, and the Coopers Gap Wind Farm on the Darling Downs, which will be Australia’s largest wind farm.

The Kennedy Energy Park is jointly owned by Windlab and Japan’s Eurus Energy.

Renewable energy is identified as one of the priority sectors for attracting investment in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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BrewDog to build Brisbane brewery

Scottish craft-brewing sensation BrewDog has announced plans to open its first Australian brewery at a riverside site in the Brisbane suburb of Murarrie.

BrewDog reps (including brewdog Ziggy) meet Minister Cameron Dick at the announcement.

BrewDog reps (including brewdog Ziggy) meet Minister Cameron Dick at the announcement.

Scottish craft-brewing sensation BrewDog has announced plans to open its first Australian brewery at a riverside site in the Brisbane suburb of Murarrie.

BrewDog plans to build a $30 million production brewery and taproom on an 11,000m2 greenfield site in the Metroplex on Gateway complex.

Founded as a small business in north-east Scotland in 2007 by schoolfriends James Watt and Martin Dickie, BrewDog has gone from strength to strength around the world.

The company now operates 2 breweries in the UK and the US, runs more than 50 bars across the globe, and employs 800 staff members on their team.

Speaking at the announcement, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said BrewDog’s decision to come to Queensland was a coup that would deliver economic benefits to Queenslanders.

‘BrewDog’s choice of Brisbane over other interstate locations to open its first brewery outside of the UK and the US is a strong vote of confidence in our state from one of the world’s most successful independent breweries,’ he said.

‘This project will begin generating jobs for Queenslanders immediately, with 60 construction jobs ready to roll and a total 235 jobs expected to be created by this project over the next 10 years, simultaneously supporting local jobseekers and fuelling the state’s economy for years to come.

‘The incentives our government is providing through our industry attraction fund were instrumental in BrewDog choosing to base its Australian operations here in South-East Queensland.’

BrewDog’s Australian director Zarah Prior said that support from the Queensland Government and Brisbane Marketing was a major factor in the company’s decision to come to Brisbane.

‘We’ve been so humbled by the support from local businesses as well as the local community who have shown a real passion for BrewDog to call Brissie home,’ she said.

‘It’s a city that’s on the brink of some incredible growth, and we can’t wait to be a part of that.’

TIQ played a key role in introducing BrewDog to Queensland, with staff from TIQ’s London office advising BrewDog about the Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund before the company’s visit to Australia in 2016 to scout for potential locations.

TIQ London staff later arranged for BrewDog management to meet with then Treasurer Curtis Pitt to discuss the project during Mr Pitt’s visit to London in September last year.

BrewDog will work with local developers NPD Property Group on construction of the brewery and taproom.

Attracting foreign direct investment to create jobs for Queenslanders is one of the key goals of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

 

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State and local govt collaborate on trade

Queensland’s 77 local councils have signed an agreement with the state government to work together to boost Queensland’s trade and investment outcomes.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signs the MOU with the Local Government Association of Queensland on 7 February.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signs the MOU with the Local Government Association of Queensland on 7 February.

The Local Government Association of Queensland and the Queensland Government have signed an agreement for local and state governments to work together to boost Queensland’s trade and investment outcomes.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk and Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) President Mark Jamieson at the Port of Brisbane on 7 February.

Ms Palaszczuk said that the agreement between TIQ and the LGAQ would give Queensland’s small and medium-sized businesses extra support to expand into international markets.

‘Local governments understand the positive impact that export success and investment can have on local economies,’ she said.

‘The aim of this MOU is to improve support and coordination of state and local trade and investment activities, such as trade missions, and to provide help to regional councils, including training and cultural understanding, and in-market support.’

‘By working together, we can further strengthen Queensland’s export performance.’

LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said Queensland’s 77 local councils had a deep knowledge of their local economies and how they could benefit from more and better trade and investment activities.

‘They know which local businesses want to export or have the capacity to expand into overseas markets,’ he said.

‘They understand the importance of being on the front foot in attracting investor interest in their regions, which means competing in the global market using all the tools and resources they can muster.’

Ms Palaszczuk said that TIQ would provide funding for councils to receive practical advice on strategies to attract regional trade and investment and on leading and managing delegations.

‘We will also support a specially designed trade and investment professional development program for councils,’ she said.

‘For its part, the LGAQ has recently hired a senior trade and investment advisor to work with the state’s 77 local councils and with TIQ.’

The MOU is one of the key initiatives of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Apply now for Pitch@Palace program

If you’re a Queensland entrepreneur who’s using technology to benefit humanity, you could be pitching your project at St James’s Palace in London this April.

If you’re a Queensland entrepreneur who’s using technology to benefit humanity, you could be pitching your project at St James’s Palace in London this April as part of the 2018 Pitch@Palace.

But you’ll need to move quickly, as applications for this year’s Pitch@Palace program close Wednesday 14 February.

Pitch@Palace is an initiative of the Duke of York, designed to guide, help and connect entrepreneurs to influencers, mentors and business partners.

Pitch@Palace Commonwealth showcases entrepreneurs from the 52 Commonwealth countries, building Commonwealth entrepreneurs’ business skills and connecting them to local and international markets.

Queensland entrepreneurs have a strong track record in Pitch@Palace, with two Queenslanders making the 2017 global final in December last year, and Gold Coast company Nev House bringing home first prize.

Nev House makes low-cost homes, classrooms, medical clinics and other structures from recycled materials, supplying them to developing countries, Australian Indigenous communities, and other communities in need.

The theme for this year’s Pitch@Palace is ‘Human Tech – Benefits for Humanity’, and applicants are expected to address the need to build a healthier and more sustainable future.

Projects can come from a wide range of sectors, including:

  • biotech and medtech
  • education
  • energy and the environment
  • internet security
  • consumer goods and internet of things
  • artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • communications, media and entertainment.

Successful applicants to Pitch@Palace 2018 will attend a boot camp in London on 13 April and then have the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges at St James’s Palace.

Applications must be submitted through the Pitch@Palace website by 14 February.

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Queensland expert at HK Golden Age summit

A Queensland expert in modern senior-living facilities was a high-profile speaker at the recent Golden Age Expo and Summit in Hong Kong.

A Queensland expert in senior-living facilities was a high-profile speaker at the recent Golden Age Expo and Summit in Hong Kong.

David Lane, Chairman of Brisbane-based architecture firm Thomson Adsett, shared his expertise on senior-living facilities during a panel discussion at the Golden Age summit.

Thomson Adsett has completed senior-living projects in Queensland, Melbourne, China and Malaysia, and participated in a highly successful TIQ aged-cared mission to China and Hong Kong late last year.

TIQ supported Mr Lane’s return visit to Hong Kong, which also included private meetings and an investor briefing.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Hong Kong, Julie-Anne Nichols, said it was a great opportunity to leverage Mr Lane’s extensive knowledge to promote Queensland’s well-developed aged-care sector.

‘As well as appearing at the Golden Age summit, David spoke at an event hosted by the Australian Consulate in Hong Kong on investment opportunities in health and aged care,’ she said.

‘TIQ Hong Kong also organised private meetings with local contacts to discuss potential areas of collaboration and commercial opportunity between Queensland and Hong Kong, including a private luncheon with the head of the Hong Kong Housing Society.

‘These kinds of activities don’t just benefit the individuals involved, but have spill-over benefits in terms of lifting the profile of Queensland’s aged-care sector in Hong Kong generally.’

Ms Nichols said the need for aged care services was growing in Hong Kong as the population aged, and this represented a real opportunity for Queensland enterprises.

‘Our local contacts have expressed interest in building stronger connections with Queensland’s aged-care industry,’ she said.

‘Bridget Ip, our Senior Business Development Manager, has been liaising closely with these local partners to identify the particular needs and interests of the Hong Kong market.

‘Focus areas include active ageing, ageing in place, technology solutions for older people, and successful models of community care.’

The Golden Age Summit and Expo ran from 26 to 28 January at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, and was held in conjunction with the ACAP Conference on Active Ageing.

The ageing of Asia and the resulting economic opportunities for Queensland are highlighted in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you’d like help to export your product or service into overseas markets, contact TIQ.

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