January 2019

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Best of 2018: Singapore agreement for FNQ food exporters

Singapore food distributor IM Holdings has signed an agreement that aims to improve access to ASEAN countries for food and beverage businesses in Far North Queensland.

Clinton Fang Yuen, TIQ's Geoff Goh, and IM Holdings' CEO Eddie Siow after the signing of the MOU.

Clinton Fang Yuen, TIQ’s Geoff Goh, and IM Holdings’ CEO Eddie Siow after the signing of the MOU.

This week we’re revisiting some of our most popular stories from last year. This story first appeared in April 2018.

Singapore food distributor IM Holdings has signed an agreement that aims to improve access to ASEAN countries for food and beverage businesses in Far North Queensland.

The memorandum of understanding was signed on 24 April in Singapore by IM Holdings’ CEO Eddie Siow and Clinton Fang Yuen, founder of the FNQ Food Incubator and owner of Cairns-based Fang’s Chilli Sauce.

The signing took place at the Taste of Queensland booth at the Food and Hotel Asia trade show.

The FNQ Food Incubator is a collective of FNQ food and drink manufacturers, marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs, dedicated to helping local food SMEs succeed at home and overseas.

The new agreement aims to provide these Cairns-based food businesses with easier access into ASEAN countries using IM Holdings’ logistics and distribution networks.

Mr Siow said the agreement was part of the company’s ongoing strategy to facilitate SME food and agribusiness exports from Australia, with support from Enterprise Singapore.

‘This is part of our ongoing strategy to support the efforts of Australia’s food and agribusiness SMEs seeking to venture into the ASEAN export market, where the demand for fresh, high-quality products continues to demonstrate solid growth,’ he said.

‘The partnership is yet another step in our overall vision to establish an export-oriented platform for Australia’s SMEs, including those from Cairns, which enjoys close geographical proximity to Asia, with efficient access into one of the world’s fastest growing regions.’

Mr Fang Yuen said that the agreement was the latest initiative from the FNQ Food Incubator, which also gives local SMEs access to the cutting-edge processing and bottling plant used to manufacture his company’s chilli sauce.

‘The aim of establishing the FNQ Incubator was to focus on helping early-stage food processors commercialise and scale the development of their food products,’ he said.

‘As well as access to the manufacturing facility, the FNQ Incubator proposes to offer a range of structured training programs designed to help entrepreneurs develop a full range of business skills to optimise their products and business practices.’

Mr Siow said that IM Holdings and Enterprise Singapore could connect FNQ food manufacturers with growing Asian markets.

‘There is a huge potential for companies in Cairns looking to export their products into the South East Asia region and beyond,’ he said.

‘However, these companies often lack the necessary capabilities and networks to do so.

‘IM Holdings strives to offer a total solution to enable such businesses and their products to gain market access in the most cost-effective and efficient way.

‘Enterprise Singapore’s extensive network and overseas market expertise has greatly expanded our reach and allowed us to forge deeper partnerships with like-minded business owners.’

TIQ helped to organise a recent visit to Cairns by IM Holdings to meet with members of the FNQ Food Incubator and begin discussions around a distribution deal.

Fang’s is one of 23 Queensland businesses currently participating in TIQ’s Food and Hotel Asia mission.

Food and Hotel Asia is the latest international showcase event organised under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Read more about the Fang’s Chilli Sauce story in this entertaining interview with Clinton Fang Yuen.

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Best of 2018: International student numbers up 11.6%

New figures released by the Australian Government show that the number of international students enrolled in Queensland institutions rose 11.6% in 2017.

This week we’re revisiting some of our most popular stories from last year. This story first appeared in March 2018.

New figures released by the Australian Government show that the number of international students enrolled in Queensland institutions rose 11.6% in 2017.

International Student Data 2017, released by the Department of Education and Training, shows that a total of 123,737 international students studied in Queensland in 2017, representing 15.5% of all international students enrolled in Australia last year.

This makes Queensland Australia’s third-strongest performer in international education and training, after New South Wales (with 38.1% of the national total) and Victoria (with 31.7%).

China remained Australia’s largest source of international students, accounting for 28.9% of all international enrolments in 2017.

Chinese enrolments in Queensland increased by 20.9% from 2016, a greater percentage increase than New South Wales and Victoria, though the southern states’ overall share of Chinese students remained substantially higher.

Queensland’s greatest percentage increase was among students from Brazil, with the number of Brazilian students enrolled in the state increasing by 35% to 11,236, making them Queensland’s third-largest group of international enrolments.

This increase was primarily due to more Brazilian students enrolling in English-language courses, but increased enrolments in higher education and vocational education and training also contributed.

Other strong markets for the state in 2017 were Colombia (18% growth) and Japan (14% growth), with Queensland having a high proportion of the total number of Colombian and Japanese students studying in Australia (25% and 33% respectively).

International education and training is Queensland’s second largest services export after tourism.

It is identified as an export priority sector in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Major sources of international students, Queensland – 2017

  Number of enrolments Change from 2016 Qld share of Aust
1  China 26,686 21% 12%
2  India 11,749 -2% 13%
3  Brazil 11,236 35% 31%
4  Korea, Republic of (South) 7,180 3% 23%
5  Colombia 5,331 18% 25%
6  Japan 5,325 14% 33%
7  Taiwan 5,230 9% 29%
8  Hong Kong 3,541 2% 20%
9  United States of America 3,411 9% 29%
10 Malaysia 3,215 1% 10%

1Source: Australia Education International, International student data.

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Best of 2018: Clean hydrogen – fuel of the future?

Researchers and industry leaders in Queensland and Japan are collaborating on what could be the world’s next renewable fuel – CO2-free hydrogen.

This week we’re revisiting some of our most popular stories from last year. This story first appeared in February 2018.

Researchers and industry leaders in Queensland and Japan are collaborating on what could be the world’s next renewable fuel – CO2-free hydrogen.

Hydrogen is a clean fuel that can be used to power cars and a range of industrial processes, burning with oxygen to produce only a water vapour residue.

But production of hydrogen is currently expensive and problematic, requiring the burning of fossil fuels that create carbon dioxide emissions.

Japan is at the forefront of research into CO2-free hydrogen, with Professor Masakazu Sugiyama from the University of Tokyo a leader in the field.

In February, TIQ facilitated a visit by Professor Sugiyama to the Northern Oil Advanced Biofuel Pilot Plant at Yarwun near Gladstone.

Visiting the facility with Professor Sugiyama were representatives from Japan’s Sumitomo Group, which is also exploring the potential of CO2-free hydrogen.

Speaking to the Gladstone Observer, Professor Sugiyama said Northern Oil’s plant had the potential to supply Japan with ‘bio hydrogen’ that had been produced using clean energy sources such as solar energy or biofuels.

‘My aim is to prove that hydrogen produced out of this renewable source here in Gladstone can be cost-effective in the future,’ he said.

‘The primary purpose of our visit this time is … so we, the Japanese community, can import hydrogen or solar-driven green fuel from this region.’

As part of the same visit, Professor Sugiyama signed an international cooperation agreement with QUT on behalf of the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST).

The agreement formalises the relationship between QUT and RCAST, including an undertaking to collaborate on joint ventures and academic and scientific activities.

Announcing the agreement, QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil AO said QUT was excited to work with RCAST on real-world research with a global impact.

‘The University of Tokyo is a leader in science and engineering research,’ she said.

‘QUT’s Institute for Future Environments has a purpose and outlook similar to RCAST, with common alignments in many similar fields of endeavour, and particularly in renewable energy and fuels of the future, such as hydrogen.’

Professor Mackinnon thanked TIQ and Sumitomo Electric Industries for their support in helping the two universities formalise the partnership.

Professor Sugiyama was originally introduced to his QUT counterparts by TIQ’s Tokyo office, which is a member of Japan’s CO2-Free Hydrogen Consortium.

TIQ’s Trade and Investment Commissioner for Japan, Tak Adachi, spoke at the consortium’s meeting at the University of Tokyo on 23 February.

Mr Adachi discussed the potential for Queensland and Japan to make clean hydrogen a reality, with QUT and CSIRO joining the meeting by video link.

Renewables and biofuels are identified as an emerging export market in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Image credit: QUT

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Best of 2018: Queensland focus for drone industry

Queensland is emerging as a leader in the global drone industry, with the announcement of a new drone research centre for the state and the annual World of Drones Congress returning to Brisbane in August.

This week we’re revisiting some of our most popular stories from last year. This story first appeared in January 2018.

Queensland is emerging as a leader in the global drone industry, with the announcement of a new drone research centre for the state and the annual World of Drones Congress returning to Brisbane in August.

The Australian Government announced late last year that a $50 million centre to research drones and robotics for Australia’s defence forces would have its headquarters in Brisbane.

The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Trusted Autonomous Systems will bring together the best researchers from industry and universities to develop smart-machine technologies for the Australian army, navy and air force.

Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the decision to base the CRC in Queensland was a vote of confidence in the state’s world-leading innovation and technology capability.

‘This centre will draw together industry, researchers and local businesses to work with Defence to develop new technologies for drones and other unmanned vehicles,’ Ms Jones said.

‘This will develop a critical mass in key technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles, and will position Queensland as a global leader in these areas.’

The CRC will initially focus on three research projects in the land, maritime and aerospace domains, led by private-sector companies BAE Systems, Thales Australia and Lockheed Martin. Working with them will be researchers from a number of Australian universities, including Queensland’s QUT and Griffith University.

Queensland will also be the focus for the international drone industry when the annual World of Drones Congress returns to Brisbane from 8 to 11 August this year.

The congress brings together drone industry leaders, researchers, regulators and businesses from around the world to explore the latest in drone technology, applications and challenges.

Last year’s inaugural World of Drones Congress in Brisbane attracted more than 630 international delegates and featured a speaker program, drone expo, tournament and outreach program.

This year’s congress is now calling for submissions from potential conference presenters and inviting sponsor and exhibitor applications.

Earlybird registrations for the congress are also open.

The defence and aerospace sector is identified as an emerging export priority in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Season’s greetings from TIQ Europe

A festive-season chat with Queensland Agent-General and Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Europe, Linda Apelt.

Linda Apelt

A festive-season chat with Queensland Agent-General and Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Europe, Linda Apelt

What’s a highlight for you in London’s Christmas and New Year celebrations? Even though London is a very multicultural and multi-faith city, Christmas festivities are inclusive of the broad population, with lots of free Christmas-light displays, choral singing, Christmas markets, outdoor skating and pantomimes.

What have been some standout achievements for TIQ Europe this year? One was succeeding in convincing Scottish-based craft beer company BrewDog to invest in Queensland by setting up a brewery in Brisbane.

A second highlight has been the Brisbane-produced play Wider Earth, which succeeded in getting a second season at the Natural History Museum in London.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? I’m very much looking forward to an official visit program to engage with key companies and organisations in Germany, France, Netherlands and Ireland.

Any new year’s message you’d like to share with Queensland exporters? TIQ Europe is working with an increasing range of Queensland-based companies who have succeeded in exporting their products and services to Europe. Several of these companies have used London as a springboard to successfully expand their business into other areas of Europe.

Please do contact us in the London office if you’d like to know more.

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Season’s greetings from TIQ Latin America

A festive-season chat with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Latin America, Alex Passagno.

Alex Pessagno, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Latin America

A festive-season chat with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Latin America, Alex Passagno

How are Christmas and New Year celebrated in Latin America? Christmas is celebrated at home with family. Family members share a late dinner and a toast at midnight to celebrate the arrival of Christmas Day. Gifts are opened the next morning. This is similar for New Year’s, with the addition of a lot of fireworks!

What’s one standout achievement for TIQ LatAm in 2018? The successful introduction of the Queensland METS company Phibion to the region. Phibion won the Environmental Solutions Award at this year’s Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards, and they’re bringing new technology to manage tailing dams in Latin America. They have orders from Bolivia and strong interest from other LatAm markets, so they’re really making a strong impact in the region.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? Continuing to work with our clients, bringing new exporters to the region, and continuing to promote Queensland as an excellent study destination in Australia.

Any new year’s message you’d like to share with Queensland exporters? Start 2019 looking east towards Latin America! TIQ Latin America can help your new year be merry and bright, with new sales opportunities and strategies to grow your business.

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Season’s greetings from TIQ Hong Kong

A festive-season catch-up with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Hong Kong, Julie-Anne Nichols.

Julie-Anne Nichols, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Hong Kong and Macau

A festive-season chat with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Hong Kong, Julie-Anne Nichols

How is the festive season celebrated in Hong Kong? Given Hong Kong’s colonial heritage, Christmas has long been celebrated here. The city transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with the smell of real fir trees and roasting chestnuts, ham and turkey! Locals enjoy Christmas and new year dining, shopping, and a chance to celebrate with family and friends over the public holidays. New Year’s Eve is marked by a firework display over the harbour. It’s definitely one of my favourite times to be in Hong Kong.

What were some standout achievements for TIQ Hong Kong in 2018? One highlight was leveraging Queensland’s role as host of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to raise the state’s profile in the innovation, health and aged-care sectors. These are areas of real opportunity for Queensland-Hong Kong partnerships and collaboration.

Also the conclusion of negotiations for the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement in November was an exciting milestone.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? As the new year rings in, my line of horizon will extend beyond the Greater Bay to that of Greater China. I’m delighted to be taking on the role of Queensland Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for Greater China, covering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau region from the TIQ Shanghai office.

And it will be an auspicious year as Queensland looks to celebrate its 30-year anniversary of being a sister state with Shanghai.

Any new year’s message you’d like to share with Queensland exporters? Thank you for your valued support, contributions and exchanges with our TIQ offices in Greater China in 2018. We look forward to working with you to make 2019 another productive and rewarding year.

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Happy new year from TIQ

As 2019 dawns, we're looking forward to another year of exciting trade and investment events around the world.

As 2019 dawns, we’re looking forward to another year of exciting trade and investment events around the world.

Events like Natural Products Expo West in California this March, Austmine 2019 in Brisbane in May, London Tech Week in June, and Food and Hotel China at the end of the year …

TIQ will have a presence at all of these events, and many more.

And, at every one, we’ll be connecting Queensland business to global opportunities.

For more information, see our full events calendar or make 2019 the year that you connect with TIQ.

December 2018

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Season’s greetings from TIQ India

A festive-season chat with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – India, Gitesh Agarwal.

Gitesh Agarwal, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – IndiaA festive-season chat with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – India, Gitesh Agarwal

How is the festive season celebrated in India? Christmas and New Year are celebrated with great participation from almost the entire country. The major cities wear red and Santa caps can be seen at almost every traffic signal. There is music, festive décor, big sales of everything money can buy! There are kids singing carols and you can hear music everywhere.

What have been some standout achievements for TIQ India in 2018? The most recent has been an excellent visit by Minister Kate Jones to release Queensland’s first-ever country-specific strategy, the Queensland-India Trade and Investment Strategy.

Earlier in the year, we were able to profile Queensland’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games, and a 15-member delegation as well as the Minister of Sport from the Gujarat Government were hosted at the Gold Coast.

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? We are looking forward to setting the milestones for the Queensland-India Strategy to start working on the long-term delivery. Also, India is going to be in federal election mode and, given some recent results across 3 heartland states, the election promises to be an edge-of-the-seat thriller.

Any new year’s message you’d like to share with Queensland exporters? Absolutely. Queensland owns more than 60% of the Australian trade with India. Queensland is a key partner, collaborator and supporter of India’s aspirations in energy, infrastructure, food, education, skills, and health. We should build on that and position ourselves as the ‘go-to’ state as India continues its economic march.

I am also a firm believer that there is a strong opportunity for an ‘innovation bridge’ between India and Queensland, as the young people of both geographies are aiming to disrupt the world with tech solutions to global challenges. And there is money on both sides, which is more than willing to give roots and wings to such ideas and creativity.

TIQ’s India office would love to help any exporter or investor interested in connecting.

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Season’s greetings from TIQ Middle East

A festive-season catch-up with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Middle East, Donna Massie.

Donna Massie, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Middle East

A festive-season chat with Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner – Middle East, Donna Massie

Is the festive season celebrated in the Middle East? If so, how? The festive season is in full swing in the UAE. Christmas carols are playing joyously on the radio stations (little too much Bing Crosby for my taste, but, hey) and every hotel foyer has a huge Christmas tree. Santa’s grottos are everywhere and they even host an annual Christmas market in town.

We are receiving happy Christmas wishes from Muslim friends and colleagues on a daily basis – we all embrace a celebration in the Middle East, regardless of religious beliefs. Christmas lights adorn shopping centres and residences. Hotels are offering special deals for Christmas lunch, and turkeys and mince pies are abundant in the supermarkets.

What was one standout achievement for TIQ Middle East in 2018? We opened the Queensland Innovation Hub at Dubai South!

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? We are looking forward to working on the build-up to Expo2020 in Dubai and to finalising several strategic projects at Dubai South. We are also excited about several inbound investments into Queensland we hope to announce in the new year!

Any end-of-year message you’d like to share with Queensland exporters? Please watch the Expo2020 portal for export opportunities and don’t hesitate to contact TIQ’s Middle East office for support.

Also, 2019 has been declared the Year of Tolerance here in the United Arab Emirates – please celebrate it with us. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, says: ‘Tolerance is the cornerstone of advanced societies, intellectually and humanely, and is one of the tools of empowering civilizations and ensuring stability and the flourishing of nations.’