February 2020

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New grants to help Queensland businesses ‘go global’

The Queensland Government has launched a $1 million export grants program to help Queensland businesses achieve their export ambitions.

The Queensland Government has launched a $1 million export grants program to help Queensland businesses achieve their export ambitions.

The Go Global Export Program, administered by TIQ, will help export-ready small to medium enterprises (SMEs) launch their products into new international markets.

Successful applicants will receive grants of $2,500–$25,000 to help overcome barriers to exporting when working with a new buyer or in a new market, such as accreditation, logistics, product trials and packaging.

Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk said assisting Queensland businesses was always a priority.

‘Exports are vital to Queensland’s economy, vital to regional businesses and vital to regional jobs,’ the Premier said.

‘My government is always looking at ways to help the state’s regional small to medium-sized businesses to go global, which is what this program will do.’

Queensland has around 7,300 goods-exporting companies, of which 40 per cent are based in regional Queensland and one in five Queenslanders rely on exports for their livelihood.

Summer Land Camels CEO Jeff Flood knows firsthand the value of participating in TIQ export-focused initiatives like Go Global.

He said the company is already getting orders from all over the world whilst targeting new markets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East after TIQ helped boost their international exposure.

‘A program like Go Global would give us exactly the sort of practical assistance we need to get a start in some of those new markets,’ Mr Flood said.

‘Finding distribution partners and getting our products onto store shelves is always a challenge and funding new activities before we have new cashflow is tricky.’

Applications for the first round of grants close on Friday 28 February.

The second and third rounds close on Friday 17 April and Friday 29 May respectively.

For more information visit www.tiq.qld.gov.au/goglobal.

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FAST helps Queensland firms enter US market

Up and coming Queensland life sciences firms headed back to the USA recently for the next phase of a unique program designed to accelerate their entry into the North American market.

Up and coming Queensland life sciences firms headed back to the USA recently for the next phase of a unique program designed to accelerate their entry into the North American market.

Representatives from De Motu CordisField Orthopaedics, Microba and Zucero Therapeutics travelled to San Francisco for mentoring and networking as part of the FAST Queensland Advisory Program.

FAST is run by TIQ in conjunction with Life Sciences Queensland and the California Life Sciences Institute, and includes coaching in market analysis, legal requirements, pitching and finance, as well as opportunities to meet with potential investors.

The most recent visit to the USA included a major networking event with potential investors, organised by TIQ and AusBiotech in conjunction with the high-profile JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Zucero Executive Chairman Chris Burrell said that the FAST program presented unique opportunities to promote the company’s lead innate immune activating small molecule, ZU545, to a North American audience.

‘The advice and assistance received from our advisors over the term of the FAST program has put us in a much stronger position in terms of our story and understanding the uniqueness of the North American market,’ he said.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for North America Viki Forrest said that the participating medtech firms were world-class in their fields and deserved an international platform.

‘FAST is a way to help fast-track globally relevant medtech developments coming out of Queensland by connecting them to the networks and potential financial support available in the USA,’ she said.

‘We’re continuing to work with the companies and looking forward to their participation at the BIO International Convention in San Diego in June.’

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

If you’re considering exporting to the USA, connect with TIQ today.

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Queenslanders pitch to Sainsbury’s with CEO Scale-up support

Six Queensland business leaders have arrived in London to receive 8 weeks of intensive support for their export plans as part of the Global CEO Scale-Up program.

Six Queensland business leaders have arrived in London to receive 8 weeks of intensive support for their export plans as part of the Global CEO Scale-Up program.

Participants will be mentored to develop their UK market-entry strategies before pitching to the UK’s leading supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s.

The trial program, jointly coordinated by TIQ, Advance Queensland and QUT Creative Enterprise Australia, will connect Queensland’s food and agriculture sector with the emerging start-up culture to create new and exciting business opportunities.

Program participant Sandra Ebbott, founder of educational toy manufacturer Mizzie the Kangaroo, said the program offered an invaluable opportunity to network with potential retail partners.

‘That face-to-face time with potential industry partners and investors is crucial for us, to build and solidify relationships that will help us launch our global retail presence,’ Ms Ebbott said.

‘The opportunity to pitch to Sainsbury’s is just huge – the UK is our primary European target market and we are so thrilled with this opportunity to take our quintessentially Aussie toy to the world and promote Queensland innovation and creativity at the same time.’

QUT Creative Enterprise Australia Chief Knowledge Officer Ian Mason said Queensland boasted world-firsts in the food and beverage sector that have global potential.

‘This program is an opportunity for the businesses selected to enter the UK market by securing key launch partners, investors and supply chain … giving them the greatest possible chance of success,’ he said.

Mr Mason said having the program commence the week after the UK’s exit from the European Union would work in participants’ favour.

‘They have a unique opportunity to be some of the first to benefit from an increased appetite for trade outside of the EU and in doing so, shine a spotlight on Queensland and all of the exciting things that are happening here.’

Global CEA Scale-up participants received mentoring in Queensland in the lead-up to the UK trip, and will be in London from 3 to 7 February for training, networking and pitching activities.

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

If you’re considering exporting to the UK, connect with TIQ today.

Queenslanders participating in the Global CEO Scale-up are:

January 2020

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UQ future leaders get Asian insights with TIQ Taiwan

Over 30 students from The University of Queensland (UQ) got a firsthand insight into working in Asia at a panel event hosted by TIQ and ANZCham in Taipei this month.

Over 30 students from The University of Queensland (UQ) got a firsthand insight into working in Asia at a panel event hosted by TIQ and ANZCham in Taipei this month.

They were among 200 students from UQ completing an international winter program at Soochow University as part of their studies in business, finance, marketing, computer science, cultural studies and tourism.

TIQ Taiwan Business Development Manager Sabrina Li said the event, which featured presentations by the Australian business community in Taipei, was a huge success.

‘Taiwan is the gateway between the West and Asia, so to see so many up-and-coming young professionals from Queensland who are interested in learning about opportunities here is truly fantastic,’ Ms Lin said.

‘Our panel of professionals was incredibly diverse – from those starting their own business in Taiwan through to others working for massive multinational corporations like ANZ Bank – which was very insightful for the students.’

Ms Lin said the students found cultural tips from presenters especially useful.

‘The students learnt a great deal, including how to gain employment in Asia, résumé tips and about overcoming culture shock, which is one of the biggest challenges while working and living overseas.

‘Following the presentations, students had the opportunity to network with the panellists.

‘The chance to talk one-on-one with professionals in a casual fashion was invaluable for the students, as it gave them the opportunity to ask questions and engage in a way they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to.’

The Soochow University International Winter Session ran from 30 December 2019 to 19 January 2020 in Taipei.

As part of the program, TIQ hosted the panel event with ANZCham on 10 January at the Australian Office Taipei, part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Taiwan and other Asian nations are identified as priority export markets in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you’re interested in exporting your product to the Taiwanese market, connect with TIQ Taiwan today.

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Smaller cities and social media to drive China’s ecommerce

Queensland exporters hoping to capitalise on China’s huge ecommerce market should consider using social media to target young consumers in smaller cities.

Queensland exporters hoping to capitalise on China’s huge ecommerce market should consider using social media to target young consumers in smaller cities.

That’s the message from Senior Business Development Manager at TIQ Shanghai Ms Li Chen, who attended China’s 8th E-Commerce Annual Conference earlier this month.

‘In 2020, brands expect youth in lower-tier cities to provide the next wave of growth through social commerce purchases as consumption growth slows in major cities,’ Ms Chen said.

‘Social commerce is when consumers make purchases through social media apps like WeChat, which has more than 1 billion users.

‘Purchasing through these apps is transforming ecommerce in China and its influence is expected to expand in 2020.’

China’s ‘lower-tier’ cities represent a major opportunity, with around 70 cities falling into this category (in contrast to the major population centres classified as Tier 1 and Tier 2).

Companies including ecommerce giant JD.com (China’s second-largest B2C online retailer and Alibaba’s major competitor) are now using WeChat Mini Programs for customers to place orders.

By using mini-programs, which are built completely within WeChat, businesses don’t need to create their own standalone app for ecommerce in China.

Ms Chen said the conference also highlighted the rising importance of young consumers.

‘Young consumers are more likely to make purchases using social media apps based on friends’ or key opinion leaders’ recommendations,’ she said.

‘With 5G mobile networks enabling faster live streaming, the importance of user-generated content as an integral part of the online shopping experience will only continue to grow.’

Ecommerce transactions in Shanghai alone reached $694 billion in 2019.

The 8th E-Commerce Annual Conference was held on 7 January at Crown Plaza Shanghai.

China is identified as a major export market in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

TIQ has offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. If you’d like help exporting to China, connect with TIQ China today.

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Bundaberg Sugar now in Middle East’s LuLu supermarkets

Queensland’s Bundaberg Sugar has secured an exclusive retail partnership with LuLu Hypermarket to stock its products across the Middle East, with support from TIQ.

Queensland’s Bundaberg Sugar has secured an exclusive retail partnership with LuLu Hypermarket to stock its products across the Middle East, with support from TIQ.

LuLu Hypermarket is the first retailer outside of Australia to stock Bundaberg Sugar, with products to be carried in 185 LuLu stores across the Gulf region.

LuLu is the fastest growing retail chain in the Middle East and Asia, serving more than 1.1 million customers daily.

Its partnership with Bundaberg Sugar was launched with a red-carpet in-store event in Abu Dhabi last month, coordinated by TIQ Middle East.

Bundaberg Sugar Group Chief Executive Guy Basile said LuLu’s commitment to the company was exciting.

‘LuLu taking our product on board and the way they launched it was significant in the sense of how they see relationships with direct suppliers of particular premium brands like ours,’ Mr Basile said.

‘We expected the in-store launch event to be a little more low-key, but it was quite the opposite!

‘The event launched Bundaberg Sugar while showcasing LuLu Hypermarket’s entire range of Australian products, which was phenomenal.

‘It has reinforced our strategy to build our brand presence in the region and partnering with a company such as Lulu is vital to achieving this.’

Bundaberg Sugar international representative Dean Nelson said TIQ’s expertise in bringing companies and individuals together was invaluable in securing this retail partnership.

‘Having TIQ on the ground in Abu Dhabi was great as their team were really good at supporting Queensland business by introducing us to fantastic contacts,’ he said.

‘TIQ was instrumental in delivering the in-store launch with LuLu Hypermarket and providing an extremely well-connected guest list – a real who’s who in Abu Dhabi.’

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Middle East Donna Massie said that the Middle East represented a unique export opportunity for Bundaberg Sugar.

‘It’s a market where quality products with a “clean, green” reputation can do particularly well,’ she said.

Mr Nelson agreed.

‘The Middle East has quite a high per capita consumption of sugar and there is a growing identification with Australian products as being the best in the world when it comes to quality, traceability and sustainability,’ Mr Nelson said.

‘Consumers today are becoming more aware of traceability and sustainability, and they want to see brands and corporations having a greater social consciousness.

‘These values are an integral part of Bundaberg Sugar’s offering.

‘A major selling point for Bundaberg Sugar is that we’re a company with a fully-integrated production chain – we grown our own cane, process it and export it ourselves.

‘We plan to take the same approach with our other agricultural products.

‘The Bundaberg Sugar Group is investing heavily in expanding their product range and corporate farm footprint with a recent purchase of macadamia nut farms.’

Mr Nelson said getting Bundaberg Sugar on Middle Eastern supermarket shelves was the first step in the company’s retail export plans.

‘The idea was to firstly launch with our with sugar products and build out our product suite, which now includes macadamias and sweet potatoes, into Middle East and other regions from there,’ he said.

‘We’re looking forward to working with TIQ on further export markets.’

The official launch was held at Lulu’s flagship store in the World Trade Centre in downtown Abu Dhabi on 17 December 2019.

Helping Queensland exporters expand into new markets is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2020.

If you’d like advice or support to export your product to the Middle East, connect with TIQ’s Middle East office.

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Social media star and firefighters unite for Taiwan bushfire benefit

Over TWD$1 million was raised in less than 3 hours last week at a special bushfire appeal in Taipei, which brought together supporters ranging from a Taiwanese social media star to local firefighters and a who’s who of Taiwanese business.

Over TWD$1 million was raised in less than 3 hours last week at a special bushfire appeal in Taipei, which brought together supporters ranging from a Taiwanese social media star to local firefighters and a who’s who of Taiwanese business.

Organised by TIQ Taiwan in conjunction with the Australia and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Austrade, the event highlighted the strength of the Queensland-Taiwan connection.

Taiwanese/Australian actress and social media star Hannah Quinlivan, who has family on Queensland’s Gold Coast, promoted the event to her more than 2.3 million social media followers.

Ms Quinlivan is married to Taiwanese pop superstar Jay Chou, with the pair one of the country’s best-known showbusiness couples.

Ms Quinlivan’s social media posts promoting the appeal, which featured video from the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation, received over 350,000 views.

Ms Quinlivan and the Mayor of New Taipei City also signed copies of a calendar featuring Taiwanese and Australian firefighters, which was auctioned at the event.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan Patrick Hafenstein said TIQ was proud to support the appeal, which demonstrated the close bond between Queensland and Taiwan.

‘We were proud to support the event in any way we could,’ he said.

‘That ranged from obtaining the video from the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation for Hannah’s social media posts and sourcing the calendars for auctioning from the Australian Firefighters Calendar company on the Gold Coast, to inviting clients along to the event itself.

‘On the night, we really saw the strength of the personal, community and business relationships between Queensland and Taiwan.

‘We had Taiwanese people in the room who had been to Queensland for work, study or holidays, some for shorter and some for longer periods, but they had all created true lifelong connections.

‘And those connections translated into real generosity.’

Significant donations were received on the night from a range of high-profile Taiwanese businesses, including a number with Queensland connections invited by TIQ.

These included Yuteh Private School (the only Queensland-recognised school in Taiwan), Eslite Hotel (managed by a former Queensland working holidaymaker) and Taishin Bank (which has a branch in Brisbane with major investments in Australia).

All funds raised from the appeal will go to the Red Cross to support recovery efforts for the unprecedented bush fires in Australia.

The event was held at Little Creatures Taipei on 16 January 2020.

TIQ Taiwan is one of TIQ’s 16 international offices promoting Queensland trade and investment in 12 markets around the world.

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Bundaberg’s Grillex going global with new $3m facility

A new $3 million facility for Bundaberg barbecue manufacturer Grillex will help them expand into additional overseas markets, supported by the Queensland Government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

A new $3 million facility for Bundaberg barbecue manufacturer Grillex will help them expand into additional overseas markets, supported by the Queensland Government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

Grillex (formerly Unisite Group) designs and produces a wide variety of outdoor infrastructure, including electric barbeques, street and park furniture, and shelters.

The company already exports to a number of countries, but is keen to increase production capacity to take on additional markets.

The new facility, to be based at Kensington industrial area near Bundaberg Airport, will include a 2,680 square metre warehouse and office complex, and an assembly line with the latest in manufacturing technologies.

Grillex General Manager Martin Rowland said the company was excited to start a new growth phase after recent work to streamline and futureproof business operations through lean manufacturing principles.

‘We started in the playground equipment industry, but after reaching a leadership position in that space we became proactive with research and development into new product lines, targeting our customer base of local governments, education providers, tourist parks and private enterprises,’ Mr Rowland said.

‘Our current team of 25 staff have worked hard to get us to this point, where in addition to supplying the domestic market we currently export to New Zealand, Fiji and Dubai, and are now looking to expand into European markets.’

TIQ Bundaberg and TIQ’s international team have worked with Grillex over a number of years to explore opportunities in both the UK and USA.

Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said investment in the new facility would help accelerate the company’s expansion by 2 years, providing further economic stimulation and employment for the Wide Bay region.

‘Grillex is a great local success story: a family-owned business founded in 2006 that has grown to become one of Australia’s leading providers of outdoor community and leisure products,’ Mr Dick said.

‘Fifteen new jobs will be supported through this expansion, including manufacturing and technical jobs on the production line, as well as roles in sales, management and administration.

‘The new site build will commence shortly and is expected to support around 30 local construction jobs over a 12-month period.’

The Queensland Government’s $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund aims to help businesses grow throughout regional Queensland, with applications for funding accepted throughout the year.

Helping regional businesses to succeed in new export markets is a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

For advice and support to export your product, connect with TIQ today.