April 2019

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Hong Kong export success for The Flour Shop Bakery

Pizza bases and ciabatta made in Queensland will soon be served in Italian restaurants in Hong Kong.

Pizza bases and ciabatta made in Queensland will soon be served in Italian restaurants in Hong Kong.

A new export deal for The Flour Shop Bakery is a direct result of TIQ’s Taste of Queensland display at the Food and Hotel China (FHC) trade show in Shanghai in November 2018.

Based in Brisbane, The Flour Shop Bakery is a family business producing an extensive range of quick-service restaurant, food-service and retail baked products.

Head of Sales and Marketing David Casey said the company’s success in Hong Kong could be credited to TIQ introductions and to having a product that could be easily exported.

‘I had pizza bases and ciabatta on display at the Taste of Queensland stand at Food and Hotel China, and met Ping Shan Foods from Hong Kong, who distribute to Italian restaurants,’ Mr Casey said.

‘After successful negotiations, we have just sent a 20-foot container to our new customer in Hong Kong.

‘Our products are fully baked and frozen, so getting them around the world is easy.’

TIQ Food and Agribusiness team member Geoff Goh said it was very satisfying to bring The Flour Shop Bakery together with the right buyer for their product, in a market that is looking for competitively priced, high-quality products.

‘There’s strong demand in Asia for imported premium food and beverage products, and growing interest in westernised foods and drinks,’ he said.

Queensland’s merchandise exports to Hong Kong were valued at $379.3 million in 2017–18, with the top export commodities being meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, and coal.

TIQ is now getting ready to take 18 Queensland food and beverage companies to Hong Kong to exhibit at HOFEX, one of Asia’s largest food and hospitality trade shows, from 6–10 May.

The Queensland companies will once more showcase their products to international buyers, importers and distributors.

If you’d like advice on exporting to Hong Kong or other overseas markets, contact TIQ today.

Showcasing Queensland companies in international markets is one of the initiatives of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Going global at QODE innovation festival

TIQ commissioners from around the world shared their tips for global business success recently at QODE, Brisbane’s newest tech and innovation festival.

TIQ commissioners from around the world shared their tips for global business success recently at QODE, Brisbane’s newest tech and innovation festival.

Scaling up for global expansion and building international teams were key topics at the Going Global session delivered by TIQ and the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur.

Hosted by TIQ CEO Paul Martyn and Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp, the popular session saw TIQ commissioners from Japan, Singapore, India and Taiwan highlight issues critical to succeeding in their markets.

Held over two days at Brisbane’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, QODE focused on the future business landscape and provided a forum for start-ups and tech companies to showcase their projects to potential investors.

Queensland tech companies also got to sit down with TIQ’s international commissioners and Brisbane-based advisors to explore global expansion and support available from TIQ to help them achieve their goals.

Commissioners Tak Adachi (Japan), Tom Calder (ASEAN), Gitesh Argawal (India) and Patrick Hafenstein (Taiwan) were at QODE to meet and mentor Queensland start-ups and explain opportunities in their markets.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan Patrick Hafenstein said it was exciting to speak to a number of local companies about taking their businesses to the next level.

‘I met with some really exciting start-ups in the VR and AR category who we are going to invite over to Taiwan to meet up with some of the big players in that space,’ he said.

TIQ contributed to QODE networking events, meeting spaces and stages, and promoted QODE to international networks to support the event.

QODE ran from 2–3 April and was part of the Curiocity event held in Brisbane during March and April.

Supporting start-ups and encouraging digital innovation are both priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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SMEs Grow with Google in Brisbane and Cairns

Covering the latest digital tools, tips and insights, recent Grow with Google workshops in Brisbane and Cairns gave Queensland businesses new skills to do business in a changing environment.

Covering the latest digital tools, tips and insights, recent Grow with Google workshops in Brisbane and Cairns gave Queensland businesses new skills to do business in a changing environment.

Grow with Google was in Queensland as the result of an invitation from TIQ, with support from the Cairns Chamber of Commerce for the Cairns event.

It was the first time Grow with Google had been held in collaboration with a state government in Australia.

Writing on the Google blog after the launch of the Brisbane workshop, Google Australia’s Director of Customer Solutions, John Ball, said the event had been a big success.

‘More than 500 small businesses, students, job-seekers, non-profits and individuals looking to grow their skills attended the workshops today at Brisbane City Hall,’ he wrote.

‘Grow with Google gives Australians access to digital skills training, both online and in person, to help them make the most of the web.

‘It includes a new online learning hub accessible by anyone, from anywhere, on any device, with hundreds of handy training modules to choose from.’

Also in attendance at the Brisbane workshops were TIQ commissioners from India, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and North America.

The workshops explored a range of digital tools and topics, including Google My Business and how to get started with search-engine marketing.

Several tools directly targeted exporters, including Market Finder, which helps businesses identify new opportunities and target global customers using market insights.

Google experts also took time at the events to give one-on-one advice on topics such as Google Ads and Google Analytics.

Grow with Google was held in Brisbane on 1–2 April and Cairns on 5 April. It was part of an initiative to provide ecommerce and digital training for SMEs under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Previous workshops with Alibaba Group, the world’s largest online and mobile ecommerce company, rolled out in 2017.

If you’re an SME interested in growing your business, TIQ is now inviting registrations for ‘Business growth essentials’ workshops running at locations from Ipswich to Townsville during May.

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Grants for ag businesses to grow trade with China

Queensland agricultural businesses and organisations interested in building trade ties with China can now apply to the 2019 Australia–China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement (ACACA) grants program.

Queensland agricultural businesses and organisations interested in building trade ties with China can now apply to the 2019 Australia–China Agricultural Cooperation Agreement (ACACA) grants program.

The program provides grants for trade missions to China, and for other projects in Australia or China that promote agricultural trade between the two countries.

Up to $12,500 is available for trade missions, and up to $40,000 for other projects, with a total grant pool of $100,000.

Applications are due by Tuesday 30 April. This year’s funding priorities are:

  • ecommerce innovation
  • sustainable agricultural technology
  • sanitary and phytosanitary training
  • agricultural products processing
  • science and technology cooperation
  • commodity production research
  • post-harvest storage and waste
  • animal husbandry
  • food safety
  • trade and investment cooperation
  • exploration of niche markets
  • advanced agriculture technologies
  • water in agriculture.

Proposed trade missions and other projects should be self-contained, not last longer than 12 months and preferably commence and conclude in 2019.

The ACACA program aims to promote bilateral cooperation between Australia and China, develop the agriculture trading relationship, and encourage the exchange of scientific information to enhance cooperation between Australia and China.

Find out if you are eligible and apply for the 2019 ACACA grants round at the Community Grants Hub.

China is Queensland’s second-largest food export market, with agricultural commodity exports valued at $1.34 billion in 2017–2018.

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

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New Queensland trade commissioner for North America

Innovative Australian business leader Viki Forrest has been appointed Queensland’s new Trade and Investment Commissioner for North America.

Innovative Australian business leader Viki Forrest has been appointed Queensland’s new Trade and Investment Commissioner for North America.

Most recently CEO of the US-based ANZA Technology Network – a leader in launching foreign tech companies in the American market – Ms Forrest has more than 20 years’ international business experience spanning Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the USA.

Her work commercialising Australian tech innovations overseas has given her extensive networks in North America’s technology and venture-capital communities.

Speaking after the announcement of her appointment, Ms Forrest said she was excited about driving trade and investment for Queensland in the North American market.

‘I really feel it is a privileged position to be in,’ Ms Forrest said.

‘To represent Queensland in North America is going to be very exciting and the opportunities are phenomenal.

‘I’m really focused on moving the needle on commercialisation of Queensland innovation.’

North America is Queensland’s fifth-largest two-way goods trade partner, valued at $8.7 billion in 2018.

As Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for North America, Ms Forrest will oversee Queensland’s trade and investment activities across the USA, Canada and Mexico.

She joins a network of Queensland trade and investment commissioners who operate in 12 markets around the world.

In addition to her work with ANZA, Ms Forrest has also worked with the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Bullant Inc., a software platform for internet and wireless applications.

Strengthening TIQ’s presence in North America is one of 22 initiatives in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Agriculture 4.0: local agtech attracts international interest

Queensland is keeping pace with a global shift towards high-tech agriculture, with the state’s agtech projects attracting attention from potential international partners.

Queensland is keeping pace with a global shift towards high-tech agriculture, with the state’s agtech projects attracting attention from potential international partners.

Twenty-four investors and importers visited agtech companies and researchers in Brisbane and Toowoomba recently during a tour hosted by TIQ and Austrade.

They were in Australia for the evokeAG conference in Melbourne, which brought together around 1,200 producers, innovators and decision-makers from around the world to explore agtech and research.

TIQ supported more than 20 Queensland producers and international clients to attend evokeAG, including local companies such as Ceres Tag (smart ear tags), SwarmFarm (robotic agriculture) and Natural Evolution (food-processing technology), who were all panel speakers at the event.

A major theme from the conference was the value of agriculture and the importance of agtech worldwide. Keynote speaker Spencer Maughan – a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and TIQ client – said that the agriculture sector is predicted to be worth around $100 billion to Australia by 2030.

Also highlighted was Austrade’s Agriculture 4.0 initiative, which is showcasing Australia’s competitive advantages in agtech and foodtech to a global audience.

After the conference, TIQ worked with Austrade to bring a group of international investors and importers to Queensland to investigate business opportunities.

The group met with Queensland companies and start-ups, visited facilities in Brisbane and Toowoomba, and spoke to researchers from institutions such as the University of Southern Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation.

TIQ is now working with its Queensland and international contacts to follow up on potential partnerships discussed during the tour.

EvokeAG was held in Melbourne from 18–19 February, with the investor mission to Queensland held on 22 February.

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

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Agreement will boost Korean student numbers in Queensland

Queensland-Korean partnerships in education and training will grow following the signing of two agreements during a recent trade mission.

Queensland-Korean partnerships in education and training will grow following the signing of two agreements during a recent trade mission.

A memorandum of understanding between Sejong City Office of Education (SCOE) and the Queensland Government through Study Queensland will foster collaboration on vocational education and training (VET) programs for Korean high school students.

The second agreement, a statement of intent with the Korean Council for University College Education (KCCE), will lead to more Korean college students studying VET in Queensland.

The two agreements will deliver programs aimed at tackling some of Korea’s youth unemployment challenges by giving Korean students practical, job-ready skills for the global workplace.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said Queensland had a strong trading relationship with Korea and the new agreements would support the growing respect between education providers in both economies.

‘It’s a natural progression that we work together to increase training pathways in Korea and promote the fantastic opportunities on offer in Queensland,’ Ms Fentiman said.

‘Providing and arming young Koreans with some of the skills Queensland is world class at delivering, these students are better equipped to look for work when they return home.’

Currently about 7,000 Korean students study in Queensland every year, with the state’s entire international education and training sector worth $4.6 billion and supporting more than 21,000 jobs.

The Queensland-Korea partnership will see global internships established for Korean vocational high-school students and professional development programs for vocational teachers from SCOE.

Short-term training for SCOE English teachers, study tours and cultural exchange programs for high school students from SCOE are also on the agenda.

SCOE is responsible for the education of primary to high school students in one of the fastest growing cities in Korea, and KCCE represents 136 university colleges, delivers VET courses and approves overseas study.

The agreement was signed by Ms Fentiman and SCOE Superintendent Mr Choi Gyo-Jin on 3 March as part of a trade mission aimed at deepening ties around international education and training.

International education is identified as Queensland’s second-most valuable services export in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Study Queensland’s growing relationship with Korea is part of its Global Partnership Plan, one of three key initiatives in the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman and SCOE Superintendent Mr Choi Gyo-Jin signing the MOU

 

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Pitch your drone project to government

Queensland start-ups and SMEs working on innovative drone technology could win the chance to pitch their project directly to Queensland Government decision-makers under the new SparkPlug program.

Queensland start-ups and SMEs working on innovative drone technology could win the chance to pitch their project directly to Queensland Government decision-makers under the new SparkPlug program.

SparkPlug aims to connect innovators with the right Queensland Government contacts, with the potential to open doors to project funding, trials or even adoption.

As a first step, SparkPlug applicants need to identify a problem and then explain how their drone-technology solution will deliver improved outcomes.

Successful applicants will then be given information on how to pitch to government prior to the SparkPlug pitching event.

SparkPlug is a new program from Advance Queensland and will call for solutions to government challenges in different service or technology areas.

The first priority area is drone technology, which will be the focus for Spark Plug 1.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • employ fewer than 200 people, including contractors
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have a place of business in Queensland.

Additionally, the product or service proposed for the pitch event should:

  • be a fully developed, validated solution with at least 1 customer
  • take into consideration the regulatory requirements necessary for the Queensland Government to implement the product or service.

Applications close at 2pm on 15 April and successful applicants will be notified by the end of April.

The pitching event will be held on 10 May.

You can learn more at the SparkPlug webpage.

Supporting start-ups and the aerospace sector are both priorities in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

TIQ is actively supporting a number of Queensland drone businesses, including coordinating a recent delegation to the Japan Drone Expo.

The state’s growing drone industry is highlighted in the Queensland Drones Strategy.

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Australia-Hong Kong FTA signed off

The new Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and associated investment agreement will lock in zero tariffs on goods, guarantee market access for service suppliers and improve conditions for two-way investment once in force.

The new Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and associated investment agreement will lock in zero tariffs on goods, guarantee market access for service suppliers and improve conditions for two-way investment once in force.

The agreements were signed in Sydney on 26 March by Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham, and Hong Kong’s Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau.

The FTA and investment agreement cover trade in goods, services, investment, intellectual property, government procurement, competition and more.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Greater China and Hong Kong Julie-Anne Nichols said the agreements would strengthen relationships with this significant trading partner.

‘The Australia-Hong Kong FTA will guarantee continued access to the Hong Kong market for Queensland businesses exporting education, finance and professional services,’ she said.

‘It will also guarantee that Hong Kong will not apply tariffs to Queensland goods exports in the future.

‘Hong Kong is an important business base in Asia and a gateway to showcase Queensland’s premium goods and services to the region.

‘I think the FTA will also create broader opportunities for Queensland in the Greater Bay Area, which includes Hong Kong, 9 mainland China cities and Macau.’

Trading rules on ecommerce, financial services, telecommunications and intellectual property were also agreed. For Queensland businesses making long-term investment decisions, this will provide greater regulatory certainty.

Before the agreements can come into force, both countries must complete their own domestic treaty-making processes. For Australia, this will include tabling the text of the agreements in federal parliament and an inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

Queensland’s merchandise exports to Hong Kong were valued at $379.3 million in 2017–18, with the top export commodities being meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables, and coal.

If you’d like advice on exporting to Hong Kong or other overseas markets, contact TIQ today.

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Grants available for biomedical businesses

Queensland-based biomedical businesses interested in attracting new domestic and international clients can now apply for funding from Round 2 of the Queensland Biomedical Voucher Program.

Queensland-based biomedical businesses interested in attracting new domestic and international clients can now apply for funding from Round 2 of the Queensland Biomedical Voucher Program.

The program offers up to 50% of the fees that a Queensland biomedical provider would normally charge a national or international client to develop the client’s biomedical product in Queensland, up to a cap of $250,000 (with the client paying the other 50%).

Services that are eligible for funding include:

  • design development and validation
  • prototype building and testing
  • contract development and/or manufacturing
  • contract research, specialist advice or professional services
  • commercialisation advice and services
  • the cost of small items of plant and equipment needed to provide the biomedical services.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said that Round 1 of the program had attracted a Canadian company and 3 interstate businesses to access Queensland’s biomedical capabilities.

‘Our Round 1 funding support of $579,367 (excluding GST) leveraged impressive co-funding of $4,861,161,’ Mr Dick said.

‘This is a significant inflow of capital and we expect it will boost future collaborations and create opportunities for other Queensland-based businesses who can assist in commercialising new biomedical products.

‘We hope Round 2 is equally successful in bringing customers and capital to Queensland and embedding our world-class biomedical infrastructure and capabilities in the national and international biomedical product value chain.’

Round 1 recipients included Patheon, which is now providing services to Montreal-based Forbius to develop an antibody drug to help treat rapidly progressing cancers, and to Sydney-based DendroCyte for its BioTech project, which will see the development of a new monoclonal antibody to improve bone marrow transplant outcomes.

Businesses interested in applying should read the program guidelines first.

Applications are due 12 noon Thursday 27 June.

An expert panel will then assess applications against criteria that will identify projects that offer the greatest benefit to the local biomedical industry, and to Queensland.

Biomedicine is identified as one of Queensland’s emerging export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

TIQ is working with a number of Queensland’s biomedical businesses to explore their export opportunities.