November 2018

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Australia ratifies TPP-11 trade agreement

Australian became the sixth country to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) on 31 October, opening the door to improved international market access for a range of Australian producers and businesses.

Australia became the sixth country to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) on 31 October, opening the door to improved international market access for a range of Australian producers and businesses.

TPP-11 is a new treaty that incorporates most of the provisions of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which was signed in 2016 but did not come into force.

TPP-11 reaffirms the participating countries’ commitment to maintaining open markets, increasing world trade, and creating new economic opportunities for people of all incomes and economic backgrounds.

The treaty was signed in Chile in March this year by 11 countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Since then, each participating country has been going through the domestic processes required to ratify the treaty.

Announcing the ratification, the Australian Government said that the treaty would come into force on 30 December this year.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) says key benefits to Australian exporters will include:

  • new reductions in Japan’s tariffs on fresh, chilled and frozen beef
  • new access for dairy products into Japan, Canada and Mexico, including the elimination of cheese tariffs into Japan
  • new sugar access into the Japanese, Canadian and Mexican markets
  • tariff reductions and new access for cereals and grains into Japan, including rice
  • elimination of all tariffs on sheep meat, cotton and wool
  • elimination of tariffs on seafood, horticulture and wine
  • elimination of all tariffs on industrial products (manufactured goods).

Queensland agricultural exporters are likely to be among those to benefit from the new agreement.

More information on TPP-11 outcomes can be found on the DFAT website.

If you would like advice or support to take advantage of Australia’s free trade agreements to export your product, contact TIQ.

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TIQ delivers 248 export deals in 2017–18

TIQ delivered 248 export deals and helped to attract 18 international investments in Queensland projects last financial year, as well as expanding its network of overseas and regional offices.

2017–18 TIQ annual reportTIQ delivered 248 export deals and helped to attract 18 international investments last financial year, as well as expanding Queensland’s trade presence overseas.

These and many other achievements from the past 12 months are showcased in the 2017–18 TIQ annual report, which was tabled in parliament recently.

Other highlights of the year included:

  • hosting 14 international inbound delegations to regional Queensland
  • arranging 11 Minister-led overseas missions
  • helping to deliver Trade 2018, the trade and investment business program held in conjunction with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, which attracted more than 2,500 attendances and 38 international delegations
  • nominating 600 international business migrants and 1,350 skilled-visa migrants under TIQ’s Business and Skilled Migration program.

TIQ also continued to strengthen Queensland’s international presence by building staff numbers and expanding the scope of its Singapore office to take advantage of growth opportunities in ASEAN markets.

At home, a new North Queensland office was established in Townsville, and a principal trade and investment officer appointed to service the Ipswich region.

The annual report also documents TIQ’s significant progress in implementing 2 major strategies: the Advancing Trade and Investment — Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 and the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

The Trade and Investment Queensland annual report 2017–2018 is available online, both in web page format and as a PDF [22.4MB].

If you would like a print copy of the annual report, please email kate.gosnell@tiq.qld.gov.au.

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$5,000 grants for small business advice

Queensland small businesses can now apply for grants up to $5,000 to pay for expert business advice under the Small Business Entrepreneur Grants Program.

Queensland small businesses can now apply for grants up to $5,000 to pay for expert business advice under the Small Business Entrepreneur Grants Program.

The program provides funding for businesses to engage a consultant, advisor or business coach for up to 3 months to help establish or develop a business.

To be eligible to apply, a business must have:

  • an ABN
  • fewer than 20 employees
  • Queensland headquarters.

Successful applicants must also be able to:

  • contribute at least half the cost of the project (grants are provided on the basis of matched funding)
  • pay for their project up front (grants are provided as reimbursement).

The advice must fall under 1 or more of the following areas:

  • mentoring/coaching
  • business and strategic planning
  • professional business advice (eg IT, legal or financial)
  • marketing strategy development (eg branding strategies, social media/digital strategies, market research).

Grants are available in the range $1,000–$5,000.

Applications close at 5.00pm on 13 December and potential applicants should read the grant guidelines before applying.

See the TIQ website for more information on business grants.

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Hong Kong delegations in town for World Hospitals Congress

Two delegations from Hong Kong health institutions attended the 42nd World Hospital Congress in Brisbane last month at TIQ’s invitation.

The World Hospital Congress' Tung Wah Hospital Delegation

Delegates from Hong Kong’s Tung Wah Hospital with TIQ and Mater Hospital staff during a site visit organised by TIQ.

Two delegations from Hong Kong health institutions attended the 42nd World Hospital Congress in Brisbane recently at TIQ’s invitation.

The World Hospital Congress is a global event that brings together health leaders from around the world to network, share experiences, and develop excellence in health care and hospital leadership.

The delegations, from the Hong Kong Hospital Authority and Tung Wah Hospital, were in town to attend the congress and participate in site visits and meetings with local health providers facilitated by

Hong Kong Hospital Authority manages all government hospitals and institutes in Hong Kong, including 43 hospitals and institutions, more than 100 out-patient clinics, and some 28,000 beds.

Authority delegates visiting Brisbane included Dr Tony Ko, Director of Cluster Services, and Dr NT Cheung, Chief Information Officer and Head of Information Technology and Health Information.

Tung Wah Hospital is Hong Kong’s oldest and largest charitable organisation, and offers a range of care, including elderly services, youth and family services, and rehabilitation.

Mr Anders Yuen, General Manager of Nursing, led the Tung Wah delegation.

Site visits for the Hong Kong Health Authority delegation included the Hear and Say Centre in Ashgrove, one of the world’s leading paediatric auditory-verbal and cochlear implant centres, where they learned about services that may complement a new children’s hospital development in Hong Kong.

They also explored digital and e-health initiatives during visits to the Queensland Department of Health and the Princess Alexandra Hospital, which impressed delegates with a fully digital hospital management platform and dashboards.

The Tung Wah delegation was in Brisbane to investigate potential collaboration opportunities, including training, particularly in geriatric care.

Their program included visits to St Vincent’s Care Services and St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Seasons Aged Care, Care College, and Bolton Clarke, who are experts in at-home support.

Rounding out their program were visits to the Hear and Say Centre and to the Mater Young Adult Health Centre, which provides adolescents and young adults with clinical care and tailored support programs.

TIQ extended the invitation to the Hong Kong health providers to visit Brisbane during the Queensland Silver Industry Mission to China and Hong Kong in November 2017.

TIQ staff will continue to work with both the Hong Kong delegates and local businesses to pursue business partnerships.

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

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Meet Queensland's export awards winners

A Brisbane technology company changing the face of the global electric vehicle (EV) industry has been named as Queensland’s Exporter of the Year for 2018.

Sixteen Queensland companies have been named the state’s best exporters in the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2018.

The highest honour – Queensland Exporter of the Year – was taken out by tech company Tritium, whose super-fast electric-vehicle chargers are being used around the world.

Started in 2001 by 3 graduates from the University of Queensland, Tritium now supplies its Veefil fast-charger product to 24 countries and holds significant DC fast-charger share in major markets, including 25% in the USA, 20% in the UK and 50% in Norway.

Speaking after accepting the award, Tritium co-founder and CEO Dr David Finn said the company was both a global success and a proud Queenslander.

‘While the Australian EV market continues to expand, global markets, particularly in parts of Europe and in the US, are far advanced and so 98% of our business is exported,’ Mr Finn said.

‘It has been very satisfying to compete so successfully on the global stage and I thank all our team and our supporters in Australia for making this possible.

‘We now have more than 200 staff and counting and are expanding our Veefil-PK operations in Brisbane, as well as having offices in the US and Europe.

‘We continue to design and manufacture all our chargers in Brisbane and we’re proud to call Queensland home.’

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that Queensland exporters such as Tritium made a major contribution to the state’s economy.

‘Tritium specialises in fast-charging solutions for electric vehicles and has seen its revenue grow from $14 million to $34 million in a single year,’ she said.

‘Queenslanders have always excelled on the sporting field – now we are doing the same thing in the global marketplace, creating businesses that provide long-term, secure jobs and industries for the future.’

Tritium also took out the Manufacturing Award.

Other winners included Gold Coast earthmoving equipment manufacturer Digga Australia, which won the Innovation Award; Sunshine Coast publishing software specialist Typefi, which won the Small Business Award; and Brisbane medical technology firm Cook Medical, which won the Health and Biotechnology Award.

The winners were announced at a gala dinner held in Brisbane on 11 October. See the full list of winners below, or read more about each company on the awards website.

Queensland winners in the 13 national award categories will now go on to compete in the Australian Export Awards, to be held in Canberra on 27 November.

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

Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2018 – winners

Queensland categories

  • Premier of Queensland’s Exporter of the Year: Tritium (Brisbane)
  • Dermot McManus Award for Innovation: Digga Australia (Gold Coast)
  • Tom Burns Award for Women in International Business: Hoodlum (Brisbane)
  • Richard Joel Award for the Defence Industry: L3 Micreo (Brisbane)

National categories

  • Agribusiness: Mort & Co (Toowoomba)
  • Business Services: AssetOn Group (Brisbane)
  • Creative Industries: Cutting Edge (Brisbane)
  • Digital Technologies: AKIPS (Brisbane)
  • E-Commerce: Grace Loves Lace (Gold Coast)
  • Education and Training: The University of Queensland (Brisbane)
  • Emerging Exporter: Tooletries (Brisbane)
  • Environmental Solutions: Phibion (Brisbane)
  • Health and Biotechnology: Cook Medical (Brisbane)
  • Manufacturing: Tritium (Brisbane)
  • Minerals and Energy: Core Resources (Brisbane)
  • Regional Exporter: Opmantek (Gold Coast)
  • Small Business: Typefi (Sunshine Coast)
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Robot research could make structures safer worldwide

A Queensland researcher working on a robotic system to detect faults in major structures has received an innovation grant to further develop this technology, with potential applications worldwide.

Dr Adnan Trakic, University of Queensland

Researcher Dr Adnan Trakic.

A Queensland researcher working on a robotic system to detect faults in major structures has received an innovation grant to further develop this technology, with potential applications worldwide.

Dr Adnan Trakic from the University of Queensland has received a $300,000 Industry Research Fellowship from the Queensland Government for his collaborative project with Whitsunday company Artemis Robotics.

Dr Trakic said he would use the funding to develop a robotically assisted inspection technology that could penetrate structures with microwave signals to deliver 50-times more accurate and 300-times faster detection of deep-interior defects in major structures on land and in water.

He said that the technology could be applied to tunnels, buildings, roads, bridges, mining infrastructure and sea facilities.

‘This technology, which combines microwave systems with cutting-edge robotic technology and artificial intelligence algorithms, has great potential, because it will be the first gold standard structural inspection system for both terrestrial and underwater applications,’ Dr Trakic said.

‘Not only will an automated and robotic scanning system deliver better results, it will also be more cost-effective and circumvent the tedious and inaccurate manual inspection.

‘The applications are almost endless, and this technology will be able to be used to detect rust and cracks in concrete in roads, buildings, tunnels, bridges, mining facilities and marine areas, including pylons, ports and vessels.’

Artemis Robotics Director and CEO Darren Foster said Dr Trakic’s research had the potential to revolutionise inspection of major structures.

‘After undertaking the feasibility study with Dr Trakic, it became apparent that this technology has the capability of being a step-change in the testing of non-ferrous materials,’ Mr Foster said.

‘We are looking to deploy the new sensor technology across a range of industries and covering several different materials over the next few years.

‘Dr Trakic has brought a wealth of information and background knowledge to help us build new sensors based on millimetre wave technology, and without this funding we may not have been able to undertake the project at this time.’

The new technology has major export potential.

Artemis Robotics was established by Mr Foster’s company Whitsunday Moorings & Marine Constructions, after Mr Foster and business partner Ken Spruce noticed deficiencies in methods for inspecting marine structures and began developing automated technologies to address this.

TIQ has worked with Artemis to explore opportunities to attract international investment.

Dr Trakic is one of 30 researchers who received a total of $7.2 million in funding in the most recent round of the Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships.

Knowledge industries and advanced manufacturing are identified as emerging export strengths in the Advancing Trade and Investment – Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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In-depth intel on METS opportunities in India

Queensland METS operators can find up-to-date insights on millions of dollars’ worth of Indian opportunities in a new report published by TIQ.


Queensland METS operators can find up-to-date insights on millions of dollars’ worth of Indian opportunities in a new report published by TIQ.

The Mining India’s METS Opportunities report is an in-depth analysis prepared especially for Queensland mining, equipment, technology and services (METS) companies looking to engage with the Indian resource sector.

It’s the first in a series of international market reports designed to help Queensland businesses explore new markets and develop client relationships around the world.

TIQ CEO Virginia Greville said the report found that the Indian market has great potential for Queensland METS operators.

‘India’s mining sector has been described as a success story in waiting, and the Indian Government’s ambitious production targets for the industry mean countless opportunities exist for innovative and cost-effective mining equipment, technologies and services,’ Ms Greville said.

‘Queensland companies have an international reputation for innovation and technical excellence, delivering efficiencies, products and services that contribute to the safe and profitable exploration, extraction, handling, processing and refining of natural resources.

‘This report is designed to provide insights into international market opportunities for Queensland companies and to complement Queensland’s other resources aimed at helping companies export their goods and services to India.’

The new report also supports the Queensland–India trade and investment strategy, which TIQ is currently developing to address emerging opportunities and challenges.

India is the world’s fastest-growing large economy.

In 2017, Queensland sold more than $9.4 billion of goods to India, a 34% increase on the previous 12 months and more than 60% of Australia’s total exports to India.

The international market report and the Queensland–India strategy are both initiatives of the Advancing Trade and Investment – Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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International students share stories with Queensland MPs

More than 100 student leaders from 40 countries shared stories with Queensland parliamentarians at Study Queensland’s ‘International Students Meet Parliament’ event in Brisbane recently.

Shannon Willoughby with QUT students

Study Queensland Executive Director Shannon Willoughby meets students at the International Student Leadership Forum in Brisbane.

More than 100 student leaders from 40 countries shared their stories with Queensland parliamentarians at Study Queensland’s ‘International Students Meet Parliament’ event in Brisbane recently.

The students, drawn from across Queensland, met MPs, educators, industry experts and their peers in the heritage surroundings of Parliament House, sharing their perspectives on studying in Queensland and networking with potential mentors and employers.

Study Queensland Executive Director Shannon Willoughby said the event at Parliament House was a unique opportunity for student leaders and decision-makers to share stories and to build connections between the students and the Queensland community.

‘International Students Meet Parliament is held each year as part of Study Queensland’s International Student Leadership Forum,’ said Ms Willoughby.

‘The forum is a wonderful opportunity for the student leaders to come together and learn new skills, and also to share their grass-roots insights on what it’s like to be an international student in Queensland.

‘Their perspectives help decision-makers stay informed about the educational experience across Queensland, and the students become education ambassadors who take their personal passion for Queensland back to countries all over the world.’

Among the student leaders attending the forum were the 11 members of Study Queensland’s 2018 Queensland International Student Advisory Panel (QISAP).

QISAP member Sebastian Romhany, a Psychology and Economy student at James Cook University in Townsville, said the International Student Leaders’ Forum was a life-changing opportunity.

‘The International Student Leadership Forum was a true platform for students to take their first steps towards leadership,’ he said.

‘You could see on many of their faces that they were actually making the choice to become leaders.

‘Walking into the Parliament House, meeting members of parliament and industry leaders, and having them show interest in you was the best way to empower and inspire students towards developing Queensland’s international education.’

The International Student Leaders’ Forum is an initiative of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

This year’s forum was held in Brisbane on 15 and 16 October, and is one of the opportunities that Study Queensland continues to build for students to connect with community leaders.

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

Ms Willoughby took up the role of Study Queensland Executive Director in early October, taking over from previous Executive Director Rebecca Hall, who is now working on international education with Austrade.

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Surf’s up in Chile for Gold Coast lifeguards

Gold Coast lifeguards have shared world-class lifesaving skills with their Chilean counterparts in a groundbreaking project that’s taking the quintessential Queenslanders into a whole new Latin American market.

Gold Coast lifeguards have shared their world-class lifesaving skills with Chilean counterparts in a groundbreaking project that’s taking the quintessential Queenslanders into a whole new Latin American market.

For three weeks in July and August, lifeguards and trainers from Gold Coast Surf City Inc visited Arica in northern Chile to train 28 beach lifeguards as the result of a contract with CORFO, a government organisation promoting economic development and trade in Chile.

The project was also supported locally by the Arica Active Foundation, which works on coastal development strategies.

Gold Coast Surf City Inc is a not-for-profit association set up in 2010 by City of Gold Coast to encourage and liaise with the local surf industry, which injects around $3.3 billion into the Coast economy each year.

Surf City President (and long-time Gold Coast identity) John Nielsen said that the project had surfed into new and exciting territory.

‘The synergy between Gold Coast Surf City and Arica is unique and is the first time anybody has attempted to benchmark against the elite standards of fitness, rapid response recovery, rescue techniques and level of treatment skills essential to be a professional ocean lifeguard in Australia,’ he said.

‘We were made very welcome by the locals, who realised that this was a rare and generous career-building opportunity which they could never afford personally, but made possible by the experts with vision at CORFO, who are pursuing “Sustainable Tourism” via the surfing and cultural attractions their waves and beaches freely provide in abundance.

‘This is a timely and priceless model for all Latin America’s coastal “surf cities” to embrace to keep their tourists and locals safe.’

Mr Nielsen said that the project was a remarkable success, with Arica’s lifeguards receiving international certification and the Queensland lifeguards learning a lot about teaching surf safety in a different culture and language.

‘Four translators were engaged throughout, although we find that in such physical aquatic training, surfers simply speak the same language and have common bonds,’ he said.

Aloha Amigos is our motto; we shared a lot of stoke – Aussies and Chileans mix well!’

Mr Nielsen said he was now working with TIQ to market the course to other Latin American locations.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Latin America Alex Pessagno said parts of the region had much in common with Queensland’s sun-and-surf lifestyle.

‘Surfing and the beach lifestyle are very popular in coastal areas of Latin America like central Chile and Peru,’ Mr Pessagno said.

‘It’s definitely a niche market where Queensland businesses can export the surf-side services and products that they do so well.

‘We’re really enjoying working with Gold Coast Surf City Inc to help them build their profile and business in the LatAm market.’

Promoting Queensland globally is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you have a product you think could succeed in the Latin American market, connect with TIQ today.

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Business Growth grants available now

Queensland SMEs looking to expand and employ more staff are being invited to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to help grow their businesses.

Queensland SMEs looking to expand their business and employ more staff are being invited to apply for grants of up to $50,000 from the Queensland Government’s Business Growth Fund.

The fund helps small to medium-sized businesses buy and implement specialised equipment or services to help them seize growth opportunities.

Businesses need to demonstrate how a grant would help them move to the next stage of growth, and successful applicants must contribute 25%–50% of the total project cost.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said that the grants could be used for services such as advice and mentoring as well as equipment.

‘The Business Growth Fund will provide targeted assistance so that businesses can purchase specialised equipment or access professional advice to help their business grow,’ she said.

‘We want more businesses to expand sustainably with expert advice and support, to provide Queenslanders with strong stable jobs.

‘This is a huge opportunity for Queensland businesses looking to take their business to the next level of growth, with more than $2 million in funding available.’

The Business Growth Fund is open to Queensland businesses with fewer than 50 employees and a minimum turnover of $500,000.

Applicants will go through a 2-stage assessment process, including a Shark Tank–style pitch during which they’ll have to put their plans to a panel of business experts.

Growth opportunities can include expanding into overseas markets through ecommerce or other export activities.

Applications are now open and will continue to be accepted until all money in the fund has been allocated.

For more information, see the Business Growth Fund Guidelines and application form.

The Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 includes a number of initiatives to support the state’s small to medium-sized enterprises.

If you’re a Queensland business interested in exporting your products, connect with TIQ to find out about the full range of services available to SMEs.