August 2018

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Hubei students live Queensland Cup dream

Nine Chinese high school students recently enjoyed a dream two-week tour of Queensland as their prize for winning the Queensland Cup English language competition.

Nine Chinese high-school students recently enjoyed a dream two-week tour of Queensland as their prize for winning the Queensland Cup English language competition.

Run since 2001, the Queensland Cup is a Queensland Government initiative to strengthen Queensland-China education networks, showcase Queensland’s educational offerings, and expose Chinese students to Queensland’s study opportunities, especially in regional Queensland.

This year, students from Hubei Province in central China created English-language videos showcasing their city, with the makers of the winning videos then sponsored by a Queensland high school to visit the Sunshine State.

Nine boys and girls aged 14 to 17 arrived in Queensland from Hubei on 28 July, sponsored by schools from Brisbane, Cairns and the Gold Coast.

During their two-week stay, the students attended leadership conferences and language programs, and enjoyed homestays, beach visits, barbecues, and other Queensland attractions.

They also participated in university visits and regular classroom activities with Australian students from their sponsoring schools.

Study Queensland promotes and manages the Queensland Cup, which receives more than $80,000 of in-kind support from 15 organisations in Queensland and China.

Queensland sponsors of this year’s Queensland Cup were:

This year’s competition ran from December 2017 to May 2018, and attracted significant media coverage in Hubai province.

More than 26,000 Chinese students currently study in Queensland, making up almost 26% of the state’s international students.

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

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Regional communities pitch for $10m export centre

More than 30 regional communities and businesses have registered interest in hosting Queensland’s new $10 million produce export distribution centre since registrations opened in May.

More than 30 regional communities and businesses have registered interest in hosting Queensland’s new $10 million produce export distribution centre since registrations opened in May.

The project will see the establishment of a pilot Regional Export Distribution Centre to boost rapid access to international markets for Queensland agricultural producers, and to stimulate high-value farming and processing, and regional job creation.

Registrations of interest have been received from across Queensland, with proposed locations for the new centre including Bundaberg, Townsville, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Cairns, Mackay and the Whitsundays.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick welcomed the high number of registrations of interest.

‘The export centre will create regional jobs and enhance productivity, capitalising on our global reputation as a leader in the production and processing of quality agricultural produce,’ he said.

‘It’s great to see so many registrations of interest in the project and we’re now moving to the next stage by calling for expressions of interest from potential proponents capable of developing and operating a commercial export distribution centre in a regional Queensland location.’

Mr Dick said the centre would include processing capacity, export biosecurity capabilities, cold storage, and handling facilities to support predominantly agricultural exports.

He said the new centre could be located in any regional Queensland location that has a connection with, or planned pathway to connect with, a regionally based airport with international export capacity.

‘Our number one priority is to attract proponents capable of developing and operating a commercially viable export centre at a regional Queensland location,’ he said.

‘Potential proponents across the agricultural supply chain – from farmers, cooperatives, agricultural processors and distributors, freight and logistics companies through to airport owners/operators and local government entities – are invited to lodge an expression of interest.’

Proponents have until 5pm on 2 October 2018 to lodge an expression of interest, and do not need to have submitted a registration in the earlier process.

To join an information webinar to learn more about the project before the 2 October deadline, email REDCPilot@dsdmip.qld.gov.au.

Increasing Queensland’s share of national exports is one of the main goals of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

The Queensland Government has committed up to $10 million from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to help fund the pilot export distribution centre.

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Hot DesQ grants bring start-up talent to state

Tech start-ups from around Australia and the world are being invited to apply for up to $100,000 to bring their smarts to Queensland and help build the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Start-ups from around Australia and the world are being invited to apply for up to $100,000 to bring their smarts to Queensland and help build the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

That was the message last week as Round 3 of the Queensland Government’s Hot DesQ grants opened for applications.

Hot DesQ provides up to $100,000 equity-free funding and free co-working space to interstate and international start-ups who commit to moving to Queensland for at least 6 months.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the first 2 Hot DesQ rounds had already brought more than 50 start-ups to Queensland, and more than 3,800 people had benefited from events and workshops delivered by Hot DesQ entrepreneurs.

‘Through our Hot DesQ program, we’re attracting some of the world’s most promising innovators to our state by providing funding, support from a range of corporate partners and access to new markets like the Asia-Pacific,’ she said.

‘All of Queensland benefits from this injection of start-up talent that gives back to the local entrepreneurial community while broadening our connections and opening up access to global markets.’

Hot DesQ applicants must:

  • be international or interstate start-ups/entrepreneurs (including Queensland/Australian expats) who are committed to moving to Queensland for at least 6 months to work on their start-up full-time
  • be individual entrepreneurs or teams of up to 4 members (maximum) seeking relocation
  • be aged 18 years or over (both applicants and team members)
  • not have existing team members based in Queensland
  • be able to arrive in Queensland between 4 and 10 March 2019.

The current Hot DesQ round is particularly interested in attracting start-ups in the following areas:

  • artificial intelligence (AI)
  • internet of things (IOT)
  • robotics
  • augmented and/or virtual reality
  • blockchain
  • health and medical technology
  • agricultural technology
  • resources and energy technology
  • aviation and aerospace technology
  • advanced manufacturing
  • tourism and leisure technology.

To apply, interested parties must first complete an online form and submit a short video pitch.

Shortlisted applicants will then participate in a video interview with a judging panel.

Applications close midday (AEST) Wednesday 19 September.

Hot DesQ is an initiative of the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland program, and is Australia’s first start-up attraction program.

Please read the Hot DesQ Guidelines for Applicants before applying.

Supporting Queensland start-ups is one of the actions identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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First China International Import Expo draws closer

Queensland businesses are being urged to consider attending the massive China International Import Expo, which will be held in Shanghai from 5 to 10 November this year.

Queensland businesses have just a couple of months left to register to attend the first-ever China International Import Expo, which will be held in Shanghai from 5 to 10 November this year.

China has the largest population of any country, and is the world’s second-largest importer and consumer.

The Shanghai expo is expected to attract exhibitors from more than 100 countries and around 150,000 buyers from China and beyond.

An initiative of the Chinese government, the expo is designed to support trade liberalisation and the opening of the Chinese market to the world.

It is the largest exhibition under China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which promotes economic cooperation among countries connected to China by land and maritime routes.

Sectors to be promoted at the expo include innovative technologies, food and agriculture, medical care and equipment, consumer goods, and trade services (including education, tourism, biotech and scientific research).

Any Queensland business interested in finding out more about the expo, or registering to attend, should contact the China Chamber of Commerce in Australia.

Asia is identified as one of Queensland’s most important export markets in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Top image credit: David Leo Veksler, Creative Commons licence

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Freedom Screens to boost export activity

Gold Coast business Freedom Screens is set to employ 6 more staff and increase its export presence using a grant from the Queensland Government’s Made in Queensland program.

Gold Coast business Freedom Screens is set to employ 6 more staff and increase its export presence using a grant from the Queensland Government’s Made in Queensland program.

Made in Queensland offers matched grants to help Queensland’s manufacturing sector become more internationally competitive and adopt innovative processes and technologies.

Freedom Screens manufactures innovative retractable fly screens for doors and windows, and already has a significant export market.

Freedom Screens Australia General Manager Kathy Talbot said the Currumbin company would use its $105,680 grant to manufacture an integrated system to enhance adaptability for various door configurations.

She said the grant would also enable the company to build an automated test jig to improve quality assurance, widen its market share and hone its competitive edge.

‘It is anticipated this grant will allow Freedom Screens to put on another 6 jobs,’ Ms Talbot said.

‘We predict that most people doing builds and renovations will require a sleeker, more discrete look, which the new ZL2 integrated system will provide.

‘Freedom Screens currently exports to 7 countries and international sales are an ever-increasing part of our business.’

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Queensland Government was supporting the state’s manufacturing businesses to become more internationally competitive.

‘Our government is focused on driving the manufacturing industry forwards by supporting companies to be internationally competitive and to inject new innovation into their business,’ he said.

‘The Gold Coast is Queensland’s top region outside Brisbane for manufacturing work, with around 21,400 people employed in the industry, so we know this sector is an important economic contributor for this region.’

The Made in Queensland program offers matching grants of between $50,000 and $2.5 million to manufacturers looking to adopt innovative processes and technologies to generate highly skilled jobs and become more internationally competitive.

Manufacturers must go dollar-for-dollar with the government to fund business improvements.

Advanced manufacturing is one of the emerging export sectors identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Asia Agri-Tech welcomes Queensland innovators

Geotagging for cows, drone solutions for weeds, and biological treatments for algae were all on show at the Asia Agri-Tech Expo & Forum in Taiwan recently, as Queensland innovations were showcased to buyers from around the world.

Geotagging for cows, drone solutions for weeds, and biological treatments for algae were all on show at the Asia Agri-Tech Expo & Forum in Taiwan recently, as Queensland innovations were showcased to buyers from around the world.

This year’s Asia Agri-Tech focused on technological innovations in agriculture, livestock and aquaculture, attracting more than 25,000 visitors from 34 countries.

TIQ’s Taiwan office presented the work of 3 Queensland agritech companies recommended by TIQ’s Brisbane-based Urban Infrastructure and Knowledge Industries (UIKI) team .

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan Patrick Hafenstein said it was a great opportunity to present the Queensland projects to buyers from across Asia.

‘We were very pleased to feature 3 of the state’s most exciting agritech companies in a Queensland presentation,’ he said.

‘We showcased the work of Ceres Tag, who are developing smart eartags for livestock; InFarm, who are working on drone-to-tractor weed solutions for farmers; and MBD Industries, who offer bioremediation to treat and prevent algae.

‘We had around 30 buyers in the audience, a number of whom followed up with us afterwards.’

Mr Hafenstein said it was the second year Taiwan had hosted Asia Agri-Tech, and encouraged more Queenslanders to consider attending next year.

‘It’s a platform to promote your product in a region experiencing huge population growth, increasing food and food-security needs, and a desire to look to innovation to make agriculture more sustainable in every way,’ he said.

‘TIQ Taiwan is also happy to hear from Queensland agritech innovators at any time if they feel their product is suitable for export to Taiwan or other parts of Asia.

‘We work closely with other TIQ offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and India to help identify regional export opportunities in particular sectors.’

Mr Hafenstein said staff from TIQ Taiwan would stay in touch with the featured Queensland companies and work to identify potential local business partnerships for them.

TIQ’s UIKI team will also continue to work with these and other Queensland tech companies seeking international investors and export opportunities.

The Asia Agri-Tech Expo & Forum ran from 26 to 28 July at the Taipei World Trade Centre, and featured around 210 exhibitors from 19 countries.

Agri-Tech organisers estimate total sales from the event were around $10 million USD.

Increasing Queensland exports is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you think you have a product that could succeed in the Taiwan market, connect with TIQ.

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PNG agreement to aid ag exports

Agricultural exports from Queensland to Papua New Guinea are just one of the areas set to benefit under an agreement signed last week by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

Queensland Premier with Prime Minister of Papua New GuineaQueensland’s agricultural exports to Papua New Guinea are just one of the areas set to benefit from an agreement signed last week by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

The four-year Queensland–Papua New Guinea Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlines priority areas for cooperation and builds on successive MOUs in place since March 1992.

Cooperative activities covered in the MOU include:

  • further promoting agricultural exports between Queensland and PNG, and exploring opportunities to provide expert advice on developing a range of agricultural industries in PNG (eg avocados, pineapples, mangos and beef cattle)
  • exploring opportunities to increase healthcare training for PNG women
  • continuing to provide assistance to the Kokoda Track Authority on track upgrades, slope stabilisation and regeneration (through the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service)
  • continuing to assist PNG Fire Services with emergency response communications (through Queensland Fire and Emergency Services)
  • continuing the PNG-Australia Policing Partnership Placement Program.

Ms Palaszczuk said trade was one area that would benefit under the new MOU.

‘With 43.1% of Australia’s total merchandise exports to PNG coming from Queensland, the MOU recognises the desire to further promote our exports and share expert advice on developing agricultural industries within PNG,’ she said.

‘Many activities in the schedule are mutually beneficial in nature and support the Queensland Government’s Our Future State priorities, especially those which centre on trade and health.’

Ms Palaszczuk and Mr O’Neill signed the MOU on 6 August in Brisbane, coinciding with the Papua New Guinea Investment Conference 2018.

Increasing Queensland exports is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Envirosuite wins LatAm Accelerator award

Queensland company Envirosuite has taken out a major win in the Australian – Latin American Market Entry Accelerator Program.

Envirosuite software

Envirosuite’s software is used to carry out real-time environmental monitoring and management.

Queensland company Envirosuite has taken out a major win in the Australian – Latin American Market Entry Accelerator Program.

The LatAm Accelerator program offers mentoring, introductions and pitching opportunities to help Australian companies export successfully to the LatAm market.

Launched in late 2017, the program invited 10 Australian companies to participate in a 6-month mentoring program followed by a pitching contest in Chile in April this year.

Brisbane-based Envirosuite came home big winners from the pitching contest, taking out both the Water Tech category and People’s Choice Award.

Envirosuite CEO Peter White said the win would help springboard the company into the Latin American market.

‘Our Envirosuite software enables companies to carry out real-time environmental monitoring and management so that they can meet their environmental obligations, minimise risk, and optimise their performance,’ he said.

‘We’re already working with a range of high-profile companies in Australia, including Veolia, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

‘This win in the accelerator program means we will receive further support to help us take our world-class product to LatAm companies.

‘We signed our first two Envirosuite clients in Chile earlier this month, and we’re very excited about building this new market further.’

Speaking to Australian Anthill, accelerator founder John O’Brien said the Latin American market had many similarities to Australia.

He said the contest judges were looking for Australian agritech, mining, energy and water companies that could transfer their technology to the LatAm environment.

‘The judges were looking for Australian technology companies with the greatest chance of building significant export markets in Latin America,’ he said.

‘This program offers immense opportunities in a market environment that is often overlooked.’

Queensland had a great showing in the program, with 3 other Queensland companies also participating in the mentoring and pitching phases: Ceres Tag (smart ear tags for farm animals), Obzervr (online field data collection) and Core Resources (mine process technology).

The Australian – Latin American Market Entry Accelerator Program is supported by the Australian Government through the Council on Australia Latin America Relations.

TIQ staff in Brisbane and Santiago office are now working with Envirosuite to identify additional potential LatAm clients.

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

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New concierge service introduced for TIQ callers

Callers approaching TIQ for business advice should find it easier to navigate their export or investment journey following the launch of TIQ’s new concierge service this month.

Callers approaching TIQ for business advice should find it easier to navigate their export or investment journeys following the launch of TIQ’s new concierge service this month.

TIQ CEO Virginia Greville said the new service was designed to quickly connect Queensland and international companies with the right services to help them with their export or investment enquiries.

‘Surveys have found that business people sometimes find it difficult to know which government agency or private organisation they should approach for help at different points in their export or investment journeys,’ she said.

‘In response, we are introducing this new service for callers or those who contact us through our website to refer them to the right place to meet their needs, whether that’s inside or outside of TIQ, in government or in the private sector.

‘This new service will be a pilot so that we can see how it works and adjust it if necessary to best meet business needs.’

Ms Greville said more than 200 companies, individuals and prospective investors a month contact TIQ looking for advice and assistance.

‘Many companies are not yet export- or investment-ready, and many investors are just beginning to explore Queensland’s opportunities,’ she said.

‘But we still want to make sure they get the best possible advice and help, so that our Queensland businesses can be successful exporters and attractive investment projects, and international investors can get the information and introductions they need.

‘Our new concierge will be able to assess their needs and connect them to one of TIQ’s expert advisors, or to another organisation if that’s more appropriate.’

Enquiries to TIQ’s concierge service can be made through the TIQ website, or by telephoning (07) 3514 3147.

The concierge service is one of 22 initiatives in the $35 million Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Dawson West mine gets green light for sampling

A new Central Queensland coal mine will start sending samples to power stations for testing in coming months, after being granted permission by the Queensland Government to establish a bulk sample pit.

A new Central Queensland coal mine will start sending samples to power stations for testing in coming months, after being granted permission by the Queensland Government to establish a bulk sample pit.

The flagship project for CMR Coal, Dawson West is an open-cut and underground coal mine, located 50km south-west of Moura and targeting coal in the Bowen Basin.

CMR is partnering with experienced coal miner LDO Group for the development and ultimate operation of the mine.

The Queensland Government has granted CMR a mineral development licence over the Dawson West project, and has now given permission for a bulk sample pit to be established in the project area.

CMR will aim to extract up to 250,000t of thermal coal from the sample pit, providing 30,000–50,000t to power plants in Australia and overseas in order to test the suitability of the coal product.

CMR’s previous testing has identified that coal from the Dawson West deposit has a high calorific value.

This means it has a high energy density and lower than average quantities of sulfur and trace elements, producing fewer emissions per unit of electricity generated compared to coal with a lower calorific value.

A haul road will be constructed through a nearby road reserve to enable the coal samples to be trucked to an existing train loadout facility at Moura.

In the longer term, CMR has plans to develop a large-scale underground mine producing more than 6Mt per year of run-of-mine (ROM) coal, incorporating a new 79km rail spur to connect the Dawson West mine to the Moura Coal Rail System.

CMR is currently seeking further investment in the Dawson West mine, and TIQ has been working with the company to identify overseas investment partners looking for advanced thermal coal projects.

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

Rising coal prices are one of the major contributors to Queensland’s strong export figures this year.