June 2019

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Asian visitors sample best of southern Queensland agriculture

Delegates from Japan and Taiwan sampled southern Queensland produce on a recent trade mission to the Goondiwindi and Balonne shire council areas.

Delegates from Japan and Taiwan sampled southern Queensland produce on a recent trade mission to the Goondiwindi and Balonne shire council areas.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the inbound trade mission was an important building block to establish new international trade opportunities.

‘The trade mission provided the perfect opportunity for local agribusinesses to network with delegates and showcase their products, including horticulture produce, grains, poultry, beef, lamb, dairy, value-add products and agritech innovation,’ he said.

TIQ’s offices in Taiwan and Toowoomba were involved in the mission, which was organised by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in collaboration with Goondiwindi and Balonne regional councils, TIQ and Austrade Tokyo.

The 9 buyers and investors were on a 4-day visit as part of the federally funded Murray Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification project.

Goondiwindi Mayor Councillor Graeme Scheu said the region was one of the most productive areas in Australia and produced some of the country’s best beef and crops for domestic and international markets.

Balonne Shire Mayor Councillor Richard Marsh also recognised the benefit of the trade visit to the region and said he was very keen to explore and identify international trade and investment opportunities.

TIQ Principal Trade and Investment Officer for Toowoomba Bronwyn Warfield said the mission brought Asian importers, retailers and investors together with local agribusinesses.

‘The visitors were interested in procuring meat, vegetables, grain and developments in agritech,’ she said.

‘They were treated to the region’s quality produce during a 9-course degustation meal featuring local foods from Gooralie Pork, Karbullah Lamb and AJD Farming.’

Supporting Queensland exporters is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022, with regional exporters a particular focus.

If you’re a southern Queensland business interested in exporting, contact TIQ’s Toowoomba office for more information.

Visiting delegates

Participating local producers and manufacturers

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New San Francisco presence for Queensland trade

TIQ has officially opened a new office in San Francisco, with a focus on promoting Queensland’s start-up and tech communities as well as broader trade and investment goals.

TIQ has officially opened a new office in San Francisco, with a focus on promoting Queensland’s start-up and tech communities as well as broader trade and investment goals.

Opening the office on 5 June, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said it was ideally located to promote Queensland’s knowledge industries and to further Queensland’s strong trade relationship with North America.

‘This new office is well positioned to focus on supporting Queensland knowledge industries businesses to enter the North American market and increase the potential to attract high-value investment into the sector,’ she said.

‘North America is Queensland’s fifth largest two-way goods trade partner valued at almost $8.7 billion, including $7.0 billion with the United States.

‘The United States is also the primary source of foreign direct investment into Australia, valued at $214 billion at the end of 2018, a rise of 10.7% on the previous year.’

The new location on Silicon Valley’s doorstep is 1 of 15 offices in TIQ’s overseas network.

It will be led by recently appointed Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for North America Viki Forrest.

Ms Forrest was previously CEO of the US-based ANZA Technology Network and has more than 20 years’ international business experience spanning Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the USA.

Speaking after her appointment, she said she was excited about driving trade and investment for Queensland across the USA, Canada and Mexico.

Ms Forrest joined Minister Jones for the official opening, along with TIQ’s A/CEO Paul Martyn, Austrade representatives and Queensland mayors.

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

Photo: Office Manager Lisa Anton, Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner Viki Forrest, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones, Acting Chief Executive Officer Paul Martyn and Business Development Manager Vicki Clare.

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Apply now for IndustryTech Fund grants

Queensland SMEs and start-ups with global ambitions can now apply to the IndustryTech Fund for grants to help accelerate collaborative, industry-based ‘platform technology’ projects.

Queensland SMEs and start-ups with global ambitions can now apply to the IndustryTech Fund for grants to help accelerate collaborative, industry-based ‘platform technology’ projects.

A platform technology is a group of enabling technologies that are used as a base to develop other applications, processes or technologies.

The IndustryTech Fund is an Advance Queensland initiative targeting businesses doing collaborative, large-scale technology projects.

Co-funding from $250,000 to $5 million is available to accelerate the emergence of new products or services based on a platform technology with global potential.

Previous recipients have included Redback Technologies, which is working on energy-monitoring technology with Springfield Land Corporation, Microsoft, Energy Queensland and the University of Queensland.

The lead applicant to the IndustryTech Fund must:

  • be a registered business
  • have a minimum of 3 Queensland‑based partners
  • be able to demonstrate an ability to fund at least 75% of the cost of the eligible project.

The project itself must aim to achieve a ‘step change’ – a significant step towards the development and commercial application of technologies that improve productivity and competitive advantage.

There are two parts to the application process, with Stage 1 being an expression of interest (EOI).

EOIs can be submitted at any time.

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

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Charting worldwide digital transformation

Digital technologies are transforming how firms compete, trade and invest, according to 2 new reports from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Digital technologies are transforming how firms compete, trade and invest, according to 2 new reports from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The 2 reports were released recently in Phase I of the OECD’s Going Digital project.

Going Digital: Shaping Policies, Improving Lives presents a comprehensive strategy for policy-making in the digital age.

Measuring the Digital Transformation: A Roadmap for the Future proposes 9 actions to build the next generation of data and indicators to deal with the challenge of digital transformation.

OECD’s Director of Science, Technology and Innovation Andrew Wyckoff said the speed of what’s happening is challenging existing policy-making institutions, and digital transformation is affecting OECD countries around the world.

‘It is clear that jobs and skills will be directly affected and there are going to be sectors that maybe have not seen automation come to them before: sectors like law, education, finance,’ he said.

‘We are already seeing great examples across OECD countries.

‘Estonia is beginning to use blockchain already. We are seeing Mexico begin to use electronic verification of invoices to make sure tax evasion doesn’t occur.’

But the scope and speed of digital transformation varies greatly across countries, sectors, people and places.

By 2022, for example, only 7% of people in the OECD will have a fibre broadband connection yet there will be enough connected devices for every person around the globe to have 3 each.

The OECD says that economies and societies will only fully benefit if governments step up efforts to prepare business, people and policies for a digital world.

Phase II of the Going Digital project aims to implement an integrated policy approach to digital transformation in OECD countries.

The OECD is a global policy forum that works in over 100 countries to improve the economic and social wellbeing of people around the world.

If you’re a Queensland SME interested in digital transformation, TIQ is offering free ecommerce workshops for Queensland SMEs in July. Register now.

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Build cultural awareness for export success

Queensland enterprises hoping to export products or attract investment need to build cultural awareness of their target market and develop strong relationships to achieve success.

Queensland enterprises hoping to export products or attract investment need to build cultural awareness of their target market and develop strong relationships to achieve success.

That is the key message of the ‘Build cultural awareness’ training workshops now running across regional Queensland.

Business owners from around the state are turning out to hear from experts at the workshops being presented by TIQ in conjunction with Asialink Business.

TIQ’s Principal Trade and Investment Officer for Sunshine Coast Ross Tilly said at the Sunshine Coast workshop participants looked at why culture matters with Asian business partners.

‘With the right tools and insights SMEs can position their business for success,’ he said.

‘Building relationships takes time and trust but there are practical strategies to improve engagement in an Asian context like taking an interest in the country, not just the business.

‘The presenter gave tips on business etiquette such as paying special attention to job titles and avoiding writing on the back of business cards.

‘Practical resources were available to participants to help with their future interactions in overseas markets.’

Asialink Business helps Australian organisations in all sectors engage successfully with diverse Asian markets.

More ‘Build cultural awareness’ workshops will be held in Bundaberg, Ipswich and Brisbane over the next fortnight. SMEs can register now to attend.

The next series of regional workshops ‘Explore ecommerce’ will help SMEs build online capability to get products into international markets and run from 2­­–11 July.

TIQ regional offices across Queensland support local businesses in a range of ways, including connecting them with potential overseas markets for their products and services.

The workshops are part of the ‘Business growth essentials’ series, which is being funded under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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South East Asia roadshow to attract entrepreneurs to Queensland

Opportunities for entrepreneurs to invest and work in Queensland were highlighted in a roadshow held across South East Asia in May.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs to invest and work in Queensland were highlighted in a roadshow held across South East Asia in May.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and China all received a visit from the South East Asia migration and investment roadshow organised by TIQ’s Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) team.

BSMQ supports Queensland’s economic growth by attracting successful international entrepreneurs to work and invest in the state.

BSMQ Manager Greg McKean promoted Queensland’s migration and investment opportunities to guests in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Dalat and Ho Chi Minh City, and said the state’s popularity as a business migration destination continues to grow.

He said each roadshow destination had particular highlights.

‘This was Queensland’s first investment and migration seminar in Indonesia and we attracted 40 participants from Jakarta’s business community along with their migration agents,’ he said.

‘In Malaysia, a key part of the roadshow was meeting with large-scale food and beverage, manufacturing, and logistics and construction companies interested in establishing businesses in Queensland.

‘In Vietnam, it was an honour to work with the Ho Chi Minh Business Association and present alongside Mr My, the President, and Mr Nghia, the Vice President, to 150 prominent businesspeople.’

Mr McKean said the roadshow was already delivering results, with members of a Vietnamese agriculture cooperative now planning to visit Queensland to look at investment opportunities.

BSMQ Principal Project Officer Lin Han continued the migration and investment roadshows across China in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Shenzhen.

Increasing foreign direct investment in Queensland is one of the key goals of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017—2022

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CQ supply-chain study to grow ag exports

Improving supply chains for Central Queensland agriculture is the key goal of a new study by the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA).

Improving supply chains for Central Queensland agriculture is the key goal of a new study by the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA).

CRCNA will collaborate with local producers and other stakeholders on the Mackay, Isaac, Whitsunday agribusiness export supply chain mapping study.

The study will examine how local and international supply chains can be developed or improved to better deliver food and food-waste products to domestic and international markets.

It will also outline potential new agribusiness opportunities, and provide a platform for advocacy on future infrastructure investment needs for the region.

Speaking to local paper the North Queensland Register, CRCNA chair Sheriden Morris said the project would highlight how developing agricultural export markets can be a catalyst for future regional growth.

‘Establishment of a long-term regional investment strategy and a multi-industry agreement is critical to ensuring … producers have robust supply chain systems which enable them to access significant growth opportunities and maximise production to meet future international demand,’ she said.

‘The end result will be an integrated plan to improve and enhance agricultural supply chains across the north, to the benefit of all producers and agribusinesses.’

The study will support the delivery of sectoral regional road maps and action plans, develop and promote a Regional Agrifood Export Readiness Program, and partner with industry stakeholders to develop regional export-development plans.

Stakeholders involved in the study include Greater Whitsunday Alliance, North Queensland Bulk Ports, Regional Development Australia Mackay Isaac Whitsunday, and the Bowen Gumlu Growers Association.

The final report is due by the end of 2019.

Central Queensland producers who would like advice on exporting can contact TIQ’s Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday Region office.

May 2019

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Agribusiness innovation at Bundaberg AgForum

How innovation can help agribusinesses go global was the hot topic at Bundaberg AgForum on 10 May.

How innovation can help agribusinesses go global was the hot topic at Bundaberg AgForum on 10 May.

Ag Forum was held in conjunction with the Agrotrend 2019 trade show for the agricultural industry in the Wide-Bay Burnett and Bundaberg regions.

TIQ A/CEO Paul Martyn delivered the forum’s keynote address, highlighting local innovations such as livestock tracking technology developed by Ceres Tag, and techniques to turn green bananas into flour developed by ‘superfoods’ maker Natural Evolution.

‘Queensland is a global innovation hot spot for agtech and foodtech,’ Mr Martyn said.

‘Agricultural products added $9.5 billion to Queensland’s exports in 2018, and this region produces 12% of the state’s food, including livestock, sugar, fruit, nuts, vegetables, citrus, and seafood.

‘TIQ and, more broadly, the Queensland Government, is working to keep Queensland on the forefront of global innovation in agriculture and agtech.’

TIQ promoted the AgForum event and Principal Trade and Investment Officer for Wide-Bay Burnett Diane Anstee said it was a great opportunity for local agribusiness to share stories and hear from experts.

‘Sharing success stories captures the momentum created by these very successful businesses and promotes capability within the region,’ she said.

‘With a clear focus on proactive strategy, innovation and accessing the market, this very successful forum demonstrated how TIQ works with business to achieve export goals.’

Agrotrend 2019 was supported by Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers, Bundaberg Regional Council, AusIndustry, Bundaberg Enterprise Centre, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority, and TIQ.

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

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Export insights in Aus-China Business Sentiment report

The China market is becoming more competitive but still presents real opportunities for Australian exporters, according to businesses surveyed for the latest Westpac Australia-China Business Sentiment Survey.

The China market presents some challenges but still holds real opportunities for Australian exporters, according to businesses surveyed for the latest Westpac Australia-China Business Sentiment Survey.

The report presents findings from 211 Australian businesses and analyses China’s ecommerce and regulatory environment.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for China Julie-Anne Nichols said Queensland exporters looking to do business with China could use the survey results to better understand challenges, opportunities and effective strategies.

‘The results show that Australian firms do face some challenges but they are here for the longer term in China,’ she said.

‘Over half of the respondents noted that that regulatory environment is a challenge but only 25% said these had any real impact on their business in China.

‘More than 60% said the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement had created opportunities for them, and almost 80% were optimistic about generating profits in China in 2019.

‘I also found it very interesting that more than 60% said they were customising their services and products for China, and those that did were more than 30% more profitable than others.’

The report showcases key Australian businesses who have successfully navigated the Chinese market, including Queensland luxury resort Hamilton Island.

Hamilton Island CEO Glenn Bourke shares an optimistic view of the China market. By focusing on innovation and getting the basics right, the resort is filling seasonal gaps with increasingly adventurous Chinese tourists.

‘Four years ago, Chinese visitors made up 1% of visitation. Now that figure is around 8%,’ he said.

‘When low-stream windows are topped up by Chinese travellers – like in the Chinese New Year holiday – that’s hugely helpful.’

Hamilton Island’s initiatives include a partnership with Chinese microblogging site Tencent Weibo, virtual reality tours, a rollout of online payment system UnionPay across the island, employing Mandarin-speaking staff, and more.

AustCham Shanghai partnered with Westpac to deliver the second annual survey. The data will strengthen its advocacy efforts to advance Australia-China business relations.

Queensland companies interested in exporting to China should contact TIQ for assistance.

Supporting Queensland exporters to enter new markets is a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Entries open for Queensland export awards 2019

The annual search for Queensland’s best exporters has begun with the launch of the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2019.

The annual search for Queensland’s best exporters has begun with the launch of the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2019.

The export awards acknowledge Queensland businesses engaged in international trade and reward their dedication to being the best at what they do.

Speaking at the launch in Brisbane on 13 May, TIQ A/CEO Paul Martyn said exporters play an important role in the Queensland economy.

‘This year is the thirtieth anniversary of the export awards and it is good to be celebrating success.’

‘These are great firms doing great things – providing jobs for Queenslanders and generating wealth for our state and providing for families.’

Danny Maher, Chairman of last year’s regional export award winner Opmantek, said the IT company had experienced major benefits from winning awards over a number of years, including being named the 2017 Australian Exporter of the Year for Digital Technologies.

‘We love getting together with other exporters and celebrating what we’ve achieved and learning about the achievements of others,’ he said.

‘The export awards also add credibility to the company in terms of attracting and retaining staff and, interestingly, they also help Google’s search algorithms and improve your search rankings.’

This year’s export awards include 13 national awards categories covering everything from agribusiness to education, health, manufacturing and ecommerce.

They also include 3 uniquely Queensland categories, which recognise export innovation, women in international business, and export achievement in the defence industry.

Queensland winners of the national awards will go on to compete at the Australian Export Awards later in the year.

All Queensland exporters are encouraged to enter the awards, regardless of their size and location.

Last year’s winners included a wide range of small and large businesses, exporting everything from electric-vehicle chargers to apps, excavators and wedding dresses.

Every business that enters the awards has exclusive opportunities to network with the best of Queensland’s export community.

Entries in the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2019 are now open and close on 31 July.