November 2019

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Queensland immigration a drawcard in Hong Kong

Queensland is an increasingly popular migration and investment destination – that was the clear message from migration agents, immigration advisers and potential migrants during a recent TIQ roadshow to Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Queensland is an increasingly popular migration and investment destination – that was the clear message from migration agents, immigration advisers and potential migrants during a recent TIQ roadshow to Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Organised by TIQ’s Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) team, the week-long November roadshow presented workshops and seminars in Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung and Hong Kong.

BSMQ Senior Project Officer Cynthia Chen, who travelled from Brisbane to present the roadshow, said the workshops and seminars broke new ground and attracted unprecedented interest.

‘We had unprecedented interest in our presentations in both Taiwan and Hong Kong,’ she said.

‘This was the first time BSMQ has promoted Queensland in central and southern parts of Taiwan, including the country’s second-largest city of Taichung, which has a growing number of entrepreneurs in its thriving industrial parks.

‘These are some of Taiwan’s brightest business minds and it was great to be able to speak to them about Queensland’s opportunities, as it was in Kaohsiung, which is a busy port city.

‘In Hong Kong, the migration interest was overwhelming.

‘We delivered presentations to more than 200 potential business and skilled migrants across 5 seminars that were at capacity.

‘The young graduates and entrepreneurs who attended those sessions expressed real interest in relocating to Queensland with their families.’

Ms Chen said increasing numbers of businesspeople in Taiwan and Hong Kong were seeing Queensland’s potential as a destination that offers both great commercial opportunities and a great quality of life.

She said that BSMQ had especially seen a significant increase in interest in business visas from Hong Kong since the opening of its Business Nomination Program on 22 July, with the trend expected to continue.

Ms Chen worked closely with staff from TIQ Taiwan and TIQ Hong Kong and with corporate partners to present the events.

Attracting investment to Queensland is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Roadshow program 3–10 November

Taiwan

5 seminars in 3 cities with over 100 prospective business migrants. Key migration agencies partnering with BSMQ on these events were:

Education agents’ seminar with 20 education agents.

Hong Kong

5 seminars for more than 200 potential business and skilled migrants. Key migration agents partnering with BSMQ on these events were:

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Natural Evolution: 'reject' fruit to award-winning superfoods

A Far North Queensland banana farm is at the forefront of transforming ‘waste’ produce into superfoods that are in hot demand – with expansion plans and an export award to prove it.

A Far North Queensland banana farm is at the forefront of transforming ‘waste’ produce into superfoods that are in hot demand – with expansion plans and an export award to prove it.

Atherton Tableland company Natural Evolution began as a second-generation banana farm but is now a successful manufacturer of superfoods based on banana flour, thanks to the ingenuity of farmer Robert Watkins.

In 2010, he started developing technology to extract flour from the thousands of bananas not suitable for supermarket sale, producing a nutrient-rich, gluten-free flour that is now the basis of Natural Evolution’s product line.

Natural Evolution Managing Director Krista Watkins said the company’s flour, baking mixes and health and beauty supplements were in great demand, with plans to build a much larger manufacturing facility to meet domestic and export demand.

‘We are planning to build a new facility next year that will be 8 to 10 times larger than our current proof-of-concept facility,’ she said.

‘It will be a megastyle processing plant to create products from excess bananas and other plants along the eastern seaboard, including broccoli and sweet potato.

‘We are also starting the Plantation Brew Company, which will create sustainable Australian distilled spirits.’

With existing customers in in Japan, Asia and Europe, and plans to expand its presence in overseas markets, Natural Evolution recently won the Emerging Exporter Award at this year’s Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards.

Ms Watkins said the win was great recognition for the Natural Evolution team, made up of 9 staff in Far North Queensland and key salespeople around the world.

‘Every year we double our sales and, while that’s exciting, it’s challenging to manage a business that’s growing so quickly,’ she said.

‘The award is a great accolade for our hard-working team as a whole.’

Ms Watkins encouraged other companies to consider entering the awards in 2020.

‘I think definitely do it,’ she said.

‘The awards night is a great networking opportunity – a wonderful evening with lots of opportunities on offer.’

Natural Evolution was one of 16 winners announced at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Gala on 10 October in Brisbane.

The awards are coordinated by TIQ.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

See the full gallery of photographs from the Awards Gala.

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Taiwanese lychees find second home in Queensland

Six new varieties of Taiwanese lychee plants have been planted at a Central Queensland farm as part of a trial that could see Queensland exporting the new varieties to global markets.

Six new varieties of Taiwanese lychees have been planted at a Central Queensland farm as part of a trial that could see Queensland producers exporting the new lychees to global markets.

The planting is the latest stage of a project signed off 3 years ago during a TIQ trade delegation to Taiwan.

In 2016, Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Taiwan Agricultural and Research Institute to introduce 6 ‘super varieties’ of lychees from Taiwan to Queensland.

The institute, part of Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture (CoA), is a world leader in lychee research and development. But, with very limited space for agriculture, Taiwan decided to link with international partners to increase lychee production.

Thanks to the lobbying efforts of Murray Davis, then Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan, Queensland was chosen as Taiwan’s preferred global partner. Mr Davis worked diligently with both the Queensland and Australian lychee industries to promote Queensland as an ideal location to Taiwan CoA Deputy Minister Mr Junne-Jih Chen.

The resulting MOU now gives the Australian Lychee Growers Association exclusive access to these exciting new lychee varieties, and ensures Queensland is a leader in developing the world’s best lychee fruits.

Mr Chen was in Queensland in October this year for the tree-planting ceremony at Groves Grown Tropical Fruit farm in Yeppoon.

It will be 3 years before the Yeppoon plants bear fruit, and 4 or 5 years before commercial quantities are available.

But, says current Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan Patrick Hafenstein, if the plants can handle the Queensland climate they could create a new export opportunity for the state.

‘We could see a situation where Queensland farmers are growing Taiwanese lychees and exporting them into Asian and other markets,’ he said.

‘It could also create new job opportunities in regional Queensland.

‘Best of all, it means more people around the world will get to enjoy these amazing varieties of lychee.

‘It’s a testament to the commitment TIQ makes every day for Queensland businesses in global markets.’

Mr Hafenstein also visited the Yeppoon farm during Queensland Export Week in October to inspect the new varieties, which include Rose Red (also known as the zipper lychee), which is easier to peel than other varieties and has a longer shelf life.

Growing the lychees in Queensland means they could be in season for much longer. Fruit would be harvested in Queensland between November and February, and in Taiwan between May and August.

Groves Grown Tropical Fruit has been growing lychees, mangoes, avocadoes and other tropical fruit on its Bungundarra property at Yeppoon since the early 1980s.

Capitalising on Queensland’s agricultural export strengths is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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TIQ delivers 206 export deals in 2018–19

TIQ delivered 206 export deals worth $87.6 million and helped to attract 20 international investments worth $554.3 million last financial year, as well as expanding Queensland’s trade presence overseas.

TIQ delivered 206 export deals worth $87.6 million and helped to attract 20 international investments worth $554.3 million last financial year, as well as expanding Queensland’s trade presence overseas.

These and many other achievements from the past 12 months are showcased in the 2018–19 TIQ annual report, which was tabled in Queensland Parliament recently.

Other highlights of the year included:

  • hosting 54 international inbound delegations to South East Queensland and regional locations
  • arranging 15 Minister-led overseas missions (including 3 by the Premier) and 3 official visits by the Queensland Governor
  • providing 911 Queensland businesses with export services, including 335 clients in regional Queensland
  • building the trade and investment capability of 489 businesses through 40 training workshops in 15 regional locations across Queensland
  • nominating 598 international business migrants under TIQ’s Business and Skilled Migration

TIQ continued to strengthen Queensland’s international presence in North America by opening two new offices in San Francisco and New York.

The annual report also documents TIQ’s continued progress in implementing 2 of its major strategies: the Advancing Trade and Investment — Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 and the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

The Trade and Investment Queensland annual report 2018–2019 is available online, both in web page format and as a PDF [28.1MB].

If you would like a print copy of the annual report, please email kate.gosnell@tiq.qld.gov.au.

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Applications now open for IET Partnership Fund

Queensland’s international education and training providers have until 10 December to apply for funding for projects that deliver unique initiatives and experiences in the sector.

Queensland’s international education and training providers have until 10 December to apply for funding for projects that deliver unique initiatives and experiences in the sector.

The Queensland Government has launched the next phase of its International Education and Training Partnership Fund, coordinated by TIQ’s Study Queensland team.

The fund offers regional study clusters, universities, TAFEs, high schools, English language colleges and other providers the opportunity to further the state’s profile as a world-class study destination.

Seventy-four projects benefiting a combined 42,000 students have been delivered through the Partnership Fund since its launch in 2016, including:

  • The Classroom in the Rainforest – a STEM-focused opportunity for international high school students to join Far North Queensland students to stay and learn in the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest. (Trinity Bay State High School, James Cook University, Cairns SHS, Smithfield SHS and Redlynch State College)
  • Whitsunday Agri-Knowledge Sharing Project: a vocational education and training program bringing Japanese students to Bowen to study English at TAFE and learn effective horticultural practices on working farms. (Whitsunday Regional Council, Bowen Chamber of Commerce, Bowen Gumlu Growers Association and TAFE Queensland)
  • Going Global: female entrepreneurs from India have been invited to participate in inbound and outbound masterclasses in innovation, international business networking and cross-cultural collaboration. (Griffith University, Central Queensland University, gen[in] and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry Ladies Organisation – FICCI FLO).

Ministerial Champion for International Education and Training Kate Jones said the Partnership Fund had boosted Queensland’s profile as a global destination.

In 2018, the sector delivered $5.2 billion in export value to the state.

‘But, for continued growth, we need to partner with our on-the-ground institutions and providers to give students great experiences,’ said Ms Jones.

‘Showcasing our skills and resources to the world will attract more students here, bringing with them economic, social and cultural benefits for Queensland.’

Study Queensland is currently welcoming applications for between $10,000 and $150,000 for projects that address strategic outcomes, including:

  • talent and employability enhancing the professional skills of students and building their networks with employers in their regions
  • industry partnerships – driving employability, employment outcomes and long-term opportunities for alumni
  • international engagement – aligning with the global capability needs of international markets and the combined strengths of institutions and study destinations
  • student experience – identifying additional student support activities that could be activated in each study destination and made available to support the health and wellbeing of Queensland students.

The International Education and Training Partnership Fund is part of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

Applicants should read the fund guidelines and apply by 11.00am on 10 December.

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Queensland’s award-winning tech a hit overseas

While many Australian companies have plans to eventually break into overseas markets, two Queensland businesses began selling their technology internationally from day one.

While many Australian companies have plans to eventually break into overseas markets, two Queensland businesses began selling their technology internationally from day one.

ClipChamp and AKIPS, both winners at the recent Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards, focused on markets outside of Australia from the day they began trading.

And, as ClipChamp co-founder and CEO Alex Dreiling explained, selling a digital product made the process a lot easier.

‘There’s a stark contrast between digital products and physical products,’ Mr Dreiling said.

‘If you have a physical product, you have to deal with stock, shipping and stuff like that, which is complicated.

‘The easiest way to start working in foreign markets is to have a business-to-consumer service that’s digital.’

ClipChamp won the Dermot McManus Award for Innovation at the export awards, selling online tools that allow users to edit, compress and convert video files without needing to upload anything to a central server.

Also a winner at the awards was fellow Brisbane business AKIPS, which won the Technology and Innovation Award for its network-monitoring software that can monitor, analyse, report and alert on more than 20 million metrics per minute.

AKIPS co-founder and CEO Paul Koch said he started his business with his sights set on North America, which now makes up 80% of the company’s customer base.

‘We got a site at the University of North Carolina – one of the biggest universities in the US,’ Mr Koch said.

‘It was a great testing ground because university environments are very hostile environments in terms of online security.

‘Most organisations try to keep the hackers out, but we were there trying to keep the hackers in.

‘The university let us log directly into our software to see how it was performing, which helped us tune it to make it better and better.’

ClipChamp also focused on the US market.

‘The way we looked at it, the bigger the country the bigger the user base,’ Mr Dreiling said.

‘And our website being clipchamp.com meant more people were more inclined to hit it from the US.

‘But we also translated our website into 9 other languages and started ranking in other countries, particularly Spanish-speaking countries and Brazil.’

This is AKIPS’ third win at the export awards, and the first for ClipChamp.

Both winners believe it’s worth applying.

‘Everyone should apply for it, because it makes you really think about your business,’ Mr Koch said.

‘And some of the questions force you to think outside the box.’

Mr Dreiling agrees.

‘It’s a good way to reflect on what you’ve actually achieved,’ he said.

‘And if you get picked as a finalist there’s recognition that you’ve achieved something, so it’s definitely worth it.’

AKIPS and ClipChamp were two of 16 winners announced at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Gala on 10 October in Brisbane.

The export awards are coordinated by TIQ.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

See the full gallery of photographs from the Awards Gala.

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Toowoomba and Cairns to get new export centres

Toowoomba and Cairns are both on track to become export hotspots following the decision to fund two multimillion-dollar regional trade distribution centres (RTDCs) instead of one.

Toowoomba and Cairns are both on track to become export hotspots following the decision to fund two multimillion-dollar regional trade distribution centres (RTDCs) instead of one.

The new centres are a Queensland Government initiative to boost access to overseas markets for agricultural producers, stimulate high-value farming and processing, and create jobs in regional Queensland.

Toowoomba and Cairns each reached the last phase of a competitive selection process that began in May 2018, with one centre originally on offer.

Toowoomba’s Wagner Group Holdings and Cairns business Air Freight Handling Services each submitted business cases to locate the centre at their local airports. The government has now announced that both centres will receive funding.

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said Wagners planned to expand an existing distribution centre at the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, adding 3,000 square metres to the facility.

‘The expansion will comprise four state-of-the-art large cold rooms, a temperature-controlled store room, a store room and an external storage area,’ he said.

‘The new facility will be used to process premium export goods including beef, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, pork and packaged nuts.’

In Cairns, Air Freight Handling Services will construct a new state-of-the-art 3,400 square metre facility at Cairns International Airport.

Mr Dick said the Cairns centre would boost access to markets in Asia, Europe and other global markets for Queensland’s primary producers.

‘As well as creating jobs, the centre will allow North Queensland’s fruit and seafood industries along with a range of other industries improved access to international markets which, in turn will have a flow-on benefit to regional communities,’ he said.

‘The Cairns export hub will mean even more of our world-class seafood and agricultural produce including fish and crustaceans, frozen prawns, avocadoes, melons, citrus, blueberries, mangoes and other tropics fruits will head overseas, boosting our economy and creating jobs.’

Construction on both facilities is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2020, with openings planned for 2021.

Agricultural exports are identified as one of Queensland’s export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you have an agricultural product you think could succeed in an overseas market, contact one of TIQ’s regional advisors.

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Amazon gives expert tips for online selling

Around 50 Queensland SMEs were given a valuable lesson in online selling from representatives of one of the world’s largest online retailers last month.

Did you know that having 3 or more images on an Amazon detail page can increase sales conversion by more than 30%?

That’s just one of the valuable tips Amazon experts gave Queensland SMEs at a recent sellers’ workshop in Brisbane.

Around 50 Queensland SMEs were given a valuable lesson in online selling from representatives of one of the world’s largest online retailers last month.

TIQ and the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training partnered with Amazon Australia to present the Selling on Amazon 101 workshop and networking event on 2 October.

The workshop was designed to cater both for SMEs already selling their products on Amazon and those who would like to.

During the workshop participants learned about everything from setting up a seller account to creating competitive offers.

Nicky Piljic from TIQ’s Urban Infrastructure and Knowledge Industries team said the aim was to show Queensland SMEs how to make the most of the global ecommerce platform.

‘We wanted SMEs to see how they can use Amazon to increase their export potential,’ Ms Piljic said.

‘This was a great opportunity for them to learn about Amazon’s tools and resources, and how to get expert help when they need it.

‘Hopefully the workshop will inspire them to get their products onto Amazon if they don’t already have a presence there.’

TIQ has helped connect a number of Queensland businesses with international ecommerce platforms, including Grove Juice to Korea’s Market Kurly platform, a variety of Queensland sellers to Japan’s Kitchen Garden platform, and Summer Land Camels to Amazon Launchpad.

The Amazon workshop also gave participants the opportunity to network with other companies interested in ecommerce.

The event was held on 2 October at The Precinct in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, and a recording is now available along with a summary of information and resources shared during the event.

Helping Queensland SMEs grow their ecommerce presence is one of the initiatives of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Preparing overseas nurses for country Queensland

A new digitally enhanced training and mentorship program is preparing nurses from overseas countries for work in regional and remote Queensland hospitals, with support from TIQ’s team.

A new digitally enhanced training and mentorship program is preparing nurses from overseas countries for work in regional and remote Queensland hospitals, with support from TIQ’s Study Queensland team.

The Leadership and Communication eMentor program provides internationally qualified nurses with skills in communication, leadership and critical thinking to prepare them to work in the Australian healthcare sector.

It also provides ongoing remote support and mentorship as the nurses practise in rural, regional and remote Queensland.

The program is a collaboration between Study Queensland’s Queensland International Education and Training Partnership Fund (IET Partnership Fund) Southern Cross University (SCU), Practera, Central Queensland University and India’s KLE Institute of Nursing Sciences.

Australian Government figures indicate that national demand for nurses is expected to quickly exceed supply, with a projected shortfall of approximately 85,000 nurses by 2025, and 123,000 nurses by 2030.

To address this, the healthcare sector is encouraging Australian nurses to return to practice, and internationally qualified nurses to practise in Australia.

But, according to Southern Cross University project lead Dr Christina Aggar, overseas-trained nurses face significant socio-cultural issues when integrating into Australia’s healthcare workforce.

She said nurses from India are a good example of capable nurses who need more support to fulfil their potential in Australia.

‘Nurses trained in India come from a system where they’re often inadequately positioned in the overall hierarchy of patient care teams,’ Dr Aggar said.

‘They’re also poorly recognised for their clinical and public health decision-making, and often lack the leadership and critical thinking skills needed in Australia.

‘This program will teach them the necessary communication and leadership skills so they can successfully integrate into the Australian nursing workforce.’

The program is delivered through a web application that uses best-practice user experience design elements to make it available on smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptops.

‘Ultimately, the program will give Queensland employers access to high-quality, employment-ready healthcare professionals,’ Dr Aggar said.

Nursing students from India, the Philippines, Brazil, France and South Africa recently trialled the app while on placement at SCU’s Gold Coast campus.

The IET Partnership Fund is managed by Study Queensland within TIQ, and is a key initiative of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

If your organisation would like to apply for funding, applications for the current round of the IET Partnership Fund 2019–20 are now open.

Supporting regional growth is a key priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Apply for funding to take your SME overseas

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.

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.