July 2019

More Info +

‘If you’re serious … make the time to learn’

Small business owners have learned the value of research and training when preparing to send products to new overseas markets in the latest of TIQ’s Business growth essentials workshops.

Small business owners have learned the value of research and training when preparing to send products to new overseas markets in the latest of TIQ’s Business growth essentials workshops.

In Exploring ecommerce, TIQ and Austrade joined forces to teach businesses around Queensland about the huge opportunities available on global ecommerce platforms.

Sang Skin Care owner Sang Ha, who attended the Ipswich ecommerce workshop, advised other small businesses to do comprehensive research on their target markets and take full advantage of the training opportunities available.

Ms Ha’s Springfield-based company has been selling its skincare products for over 20 years and been online in Australia for 2 years, but when she decided to start exporting to Asia, she wanted to find out more.

‘We are about to start exporting to Asia and ecommerce is huge in Asia,’ she said.

‘After two years of doing market research, we decided to start by exporting our hero product, Recovery Balm, to Vietnam, and I wanted to get as much information as I could.

‘Even if you get an Asian distributor, every distributor now has an online portal, so I think the training was very relevant to anyone who wants to export.’

Ms Ha invented her skin-care range to treat her own skin problems, which didn’t respond to any of the commercial products available.

She researched skincare solutions from different cultures and different eras looking for modern answers.

She discovered that Chinese medicine had been using essential oils for skincare for centuries, and ancient Egyptians also used essential oils during mummification, which preserved flesh even after thousands of years.

Using some of these same essential oils and other natural ingredients, Ms Ha developed a range that cured her own skin and has been enthusiastically taken up by customers around Australia.

TIQ’s Trade and Investment Officer for Ipswich Julie Mark said it was great to see Sang and other small businesspeople benefit from the training.

‘As well as Sang, we had businesses who sell everything from pet treats to tourism and Indigenous art,’ she said.

‘They received plenty of tips, including which platforms work best in which markets, and how to use social media to research your target market and audience.

‘It was a practical session and the feedback was good.’

Ms Ha said the three-hour workshop was very informative, and small business owners needed to take time out of their business to work on their business.

‘If you go into anything, information is king,’ she said.

‘This is still new for everybody.

‘If you’re serious about it, you need to make the time to learn.’

Training for regional exporters is one of the initiatives of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

The next round of TIQ training workshops will teach business owners the secrets of pitching successfully to funders and investors.

Register now for a ‘Get pitch-ready’ workshop, running in regional centres throughout Queensland 24–31 July.

More Info +

Queensland spearheads aged-care revolution in China

Queensland will help a major city in China care for its retirees following a new agreement involving a Queensland company in a major Chinese project.

Queensland will help a major city in China care for its retirees following a new agreement involving a Queensland company in a major Chinese project.

Leading architecture firm Thomson Adsett – part of the Queensland-based Australian Silver Industry Group, a senior-living and aged-care consortium – has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Wuhan Planning and Design Institute to provide architecture and design planning services on a $20 million project to position the city of Wuhan as aged-friendly.

The Australian Silver Industry Group, comprising seven companies, was established in February 2018 as an initiative of the Advancing Trade and Investment – Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022, led by TIQ.

The city of Wuhan, in the Hubei Province of China and with about 12 million people, has set out a state-of-the-art approach to planning aged-care services, involving research and economic analysis, social planning and infrastructure investment.

TIQ Acting Chief Executive Officer Paul Martyn said the agreement provided the cornerstone for the Australian Silver Industry Group and the Wuhan Planning and Design Institute to build a strong relationship, based on the longstanding friendship between Queensland and Wuhan.

‘This opportunity has been three years in the making – and shows the benefits of Queensland firms “hunting as a pack” to win new work in China,’ Mr Martyn said.

‘It is another example of Queensland expertise being exported to help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems, and the development of an age-friendly and elderly-oriented city in Wuhan is an exciting project offering an opportunity for this partnership to strengthen and grow.’

David Lane, Emeritus Chair and Partner of Thomson Adsett and co-chair of the Australian Silver Industry Group, said that through the memorandum of understanding signed on 9 July – to be followed by a contract in coming weeks – Thomson Adsett and Australian Silver Industry Group members would have the opportunity to be involved in several projects.

‘The Australian Silver Industry Group’s vision is to provide innovative solutions in senior living for residents and operators in China through our various technological, service and product capabilities,’ Mr Lane said.

‘Our members work collaboratively to target international project opportunities and provide a unified and diverse Queensland offering, and have conducted several meetings with organisations across the Asia Pacific in the past 18 months.

‘We are very happy with our progress to date.’

Representatives of the Wuhan Planning and Design Institute visited Queensland to sign the agreement and learn more about the state’s aged-care expertise.

Institute President Mr Chen Wei said Queensland companies were providing important input on the development of Wuhan’s aged-care environment.

‘Our time in Queensland was enormously beneficial and eye-opening,’ he said.

‘Seeing how the industry operates gives us great encouragement, and has helped to crystallise our thinking on how we can gather the data, plan the research and implement our Age Friendly City Strategy Plan.

‘We have today identified immediate opportunities for further collaboration with ASIG members, and we will continue our strong friendship with Thomson Adsett.

‘Our experiences will no doubt further strengthen our relationship with Queensland.’

The Australian Silver Industry Group is the first consortium of its kind in Australia and was established as an initiative of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

If you’re interested in marketing your service or product in overseas markets, connect with TIQ today.

Members of the Australian Silver Industry Group are:

More Info +

JCU exports ‘Blue Economy’ skills to Middle East

TIQ has facilitated a major agreement between Queensland’s James Cook University (JCU) and a Middle East marine research centre, which could result in new seafood solutions to the region’s food-security challenges.

TIQ has facilitated a major agreement between Queensland’s James Cook University (JCU) and a Middle East marine research centre, which could result in new seafood solutions to the region’s food-security challenges.

Under the agreement, JCU will provide expert assistance to the Sheikh Khalifa Marine Research Centre to help establish a new Marine Innovation Park in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Middle East Donna Massie said food security would be a research priority for the new centre.

‘The UAE is heavily reliant on imported food due to low rainfall and lack of arable land,’ she said.

‘The Marine Innovation Park will focus on marine science, biotechnology and aquaculture, with the goal of developing smarter marine-based food solutions.

‘This is strongly aligned with the UAE’s National Food Security strategy, which aims to take the country from its current position of thirty-first most food-secure country in the world to being in the top 10 by 2021.

‘This is a highly prestigious partnership, which showcases Queensland’s capability in a globally significant area and the strong relationship between the United Arab Emirates and Queensland.’

Ms Massie introduced JCU representatives to the UAE Ministry of Food Security and advised JCU on a range of issues leading up to the signing of the agreement.

The Marine Innovation Park is being established as part of a move by the UAE Government to promote research and development in bio-science technology and marine science.

Speaking after the signing, the UAE Minister of State for Food Security, Her Excellency Mariam Al Mehairi, said JCU was chosen for its expertise in advancing the ‘Blue Economy’ – an emerging economic concept that encourages better stewardship of the world’s oceans.

‘This memorandum of intent represents a significant development in the UAE’s quest to become a world leader in aquaculture,’ she said.

‘Water husbandry has a special significance for us as a country because of our low annual rainfall and our shrinking levels of groundwater – aquaculture is a sustainable method of food production that represents one of the best uses of this precious resource.

‘We are delighted to have signed an agreement with JCU, an international leader in the Blue Economy, to develop our capacities in this vital area.’

JCU will spend 8 months working with centre staff to develop a strategic plan for the new Marine Innovation Park, drawing on the expertise of JCU scientists in areas such as aquaculture, macroalgae, sensor and blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and environmental assessment and management.

The memorandum of intent was signed on 11 July in Abu Dhabi by the Minister of State for Food Security, Her Excellency Mariam Al Mehairi, and JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding.

The new Marine Innovation Park will be based in Umm Al Quwain.

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

Also supporting food security in the UAE is innovative Queensland company RADAQUA, which manages a large aquaculture project in the UAE.

More Info +

Grants to promote your products overseas

TIQ is encouraging Queensland SMEs to consider applying for an Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) to help fund the cost of promoting their products in export markets.

TIQ is encouraging Queensland SMEs to consider applying for an Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) to help fund the cost of promoting their products in export markets.

The EMDG program is run by Austrade, and reimburses Australian businesses with up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses over $5,000.

The grants are open to current and aspiring exporters from a wide range of industries.

Austrade is now accepting applications for reimbursement of funds spent in the 2018–19 financial year.

Applicants must:

  • have an income of less than $50 million for the year
  • have spent at least $15,000 on eligible export promotion expenses in the year (or over the past two years if you are a first-time applicant).

Successful applicants can receive up to 50% reimbursement of eligible expenses, less the first $5,000, with a maximum grant of $150,000 per application.

Eligible expenses include the costs of:

  • overseas representation
  • marketing consultants and visits
  • trade fairs, seminars and in-store promotions
  • promotional literature and advertising
  • product samples
  • bringing potential buyers to Australia
  • registering and insuring eligible intellectual property.

Some expenses and export markets are excluded from the program, so check your eligibility before applying.

In 2017–18, more than 3,700 Australian businesses received EMDG funds totalling $131.6 million.

Applications for this year’s funding close 2 December 2019.

See our Business grants and assistance page for more info on grants for exporters, or contact one of TIQ’s regional trade advisors for more advice on funding options to help grow your business.

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

More Info +

BSMQ makes finals of Multicultural Queensland Awards

TIQ’s Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) team has been named a finalist in the 2019 Multicultural Queensland Awards.

TIQ’s Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) team has been named a finalist in the 2019 Multicultural Queensland Awards.

The awards recognise the valuable contributions of Queenslanders who support and promote an inclusive, harmonious and united Queensland.

BSMQ has been named a finalist in the Government category, which recognises the outstanding achievements of a state or local government team in providing equitable access to services or enabling increased participation of diverse groups in social or economic opportunities.

BSMQ Manager Greg McKean said his team was proud to be nominated for the work they do every day with business and skilled migrants from around the world.

‘BSMQ assesses applications for state-nominated visas with the goal of attracting the best and brightest business and skilled migrants to Queensland to help diversify and strengthen our community,’ he said.

‘These migrants bring extraordinary energy, ideas and innovation to communities right across Queensland, and it’s wonderful to work with industry stakeholders to help open up pathways for success.

‘The BSMQ team considers it a privilege to work with these groups, and an honour to be named a finalist in the Multicultural Queensland Awards.’

In 2018–19, BSMQ nominated 598 business migrants from 38 countries to migrate to Queensland, who are expected to inject around $1.24 billion into the Queensland economy.

They also nominated 1,700 skilled migrants from 76 countries across 196 occupations, who have collectively transferred $163 million in relocation investment to Queensland.

Also named finalists in the Government category are Toowoomba Regional Council, for its multicultural initiatives, and Queensland Corrective Services, for its work with the Islamic Council of Queensland to create culturally safe environments for inmates from Islamic backgrounds.

Held every year since 1990, the Multicultural Queensland Awards aim to highlight efforts and achievements in supporting Queensland’s multicultural identity, and to encourage excellence in promoting multiculturalism.

This year’s winners will be announced at an awards dinner on 30 August at the Royal International Convention Centre in Brisbane.

Investment, including investment by business and skilled migrants, is identified as an economic priority for Queensland in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

More Info +

Queensland gives international students employment edge

The new Study Queensland Talent Program will give thousands of international students enrolled in Queensland stronger global employment prospects following graduation.

The new Study Queensland Talent Program will give international students who choose Queensland stronger global employment prospects following graduation.

The new program will offer students employer engagement initiatives to build their 21st-century skills, plus an e-portfolio app to help them record their experiences and achievements in real time.

Led by TIQ’s Study Queensland team, the $1.6 million program is Australia’s largest ever career-development initiative for international students.

Announcing the initiative in late June, International Education Ministerial Champion Kate Jones said it would boost student employability and give Queensland a competitive edge in attracting international students.

‘We have great education and training providers and some of the world’s leading tourism destinations,’ she said.

‘We want to make sure everyone who gets an education in Queensland builds authentic connections and has great employment prospects, both here and globally. That’s what this program is all about.

‘It’s also part of our plan to attract more international students to study in Queensland.’

The Start Here Go Anywhere e-portfolio and micro-credentialing app – currently being piloted in Cairns – will be rolled out across the state in coming months.

Ms Jones said the app would encourage students to take up new and existing employability programs and let them record their participation in activities to help build their extra-curricular profile, allowing them to be more attractive to global employers.

She said the program would be supported by new Study Queensland Employer Champions, including Urbis, the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and Bank of Queensland.

The new program is being funded through the Queensland Government’s International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

It was launched by Ms Jones at Study Queensland’s 2019 International Education and Training Summit, held in Brisbane from 25 to 26 June.

International education is Queensland’s fastest growing services export, with around 135,000 international students injecting more than $5 billion into the state’s economy in 2018.

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

More Info +

Money to take Queensland’s artisan yummies overseas

Queensland’s gourmet-food artisans can take their treats to overseas markets with support from a new funding program and advice from TIQ.

Queensland’s gourmet-food artisans can take their treats to overseas markets with support from a new funding program and advice from TIQ.

The Small Business Artisan Producer Grants Program will provide funding of up to $5,000 to eligible artisan producers to engage business consultants, mentors or digital experts to help them establish and grow their businesses, and to seize international and domestic market opportunities as they arise.

Announcing the Supporting Artisan Producers plan earlier this month, Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said the program would help to build bigger markets for Queensland’s niche artisan products.

‘Whether it’s honey or macadamia nuts, chocolates or jams, cheeses or gluten-free goodies, Queensland’s artisan producers are creating one-of-a-kind food and beverage products,’ Ms Fentiman said.

‘We want more artisan businesses to start, grow and employ more Queenslanders and that’s why we have detailed a range of measures, including the new Artisan Producer Grants.

‘These grants will provide up to $5,000 that can be used for professional advice to take their business to the next level or develop a website or digital marketing campaign to help them work smarter and enhance their online presence.’

The funding can be used to target local, national and international markets.

To be eligible to apply for a grant, businesses must:

  • be an artisan producer of gourmet food (including non-alcoholic beverages) based in Queensland
  • have fewer than 20 employees at the time of applying for the grant
  • have Queensland headquarters.

Queensland artisan producers interested in expanding into global markets can also contact TIQ’s regional offices or our specialist Food and Agriculture team for expert advice and support.

Other Queensland Government initiatives to support artisan producers are outlined on the Supporting Artisan Producers webpage.

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

Applications for the Small Business Artisan Producers Grants open 11 July 2019.

Image credit: Minister Fentiman’s office

More Info +

Super-sized quails from Queensland on menu in Hong Kong

Super-sized quails from the Brisbane Valley are heading to Hong Kong’s high-end restaurants and may enter the Singapore market later this year after TIQ opened doors in Asia for their producer.

Super-sized quails from the Brisbane Valley are heading to Hong Kong’s high-end restaurants and may enter the Singapore market later this year after TIQ opened doors in Asia for their producer.

Brisbane Valley Protein (BVP) aims to be processing 5,000 quails a week by the end of the year to meet demand from Hong Kong’s high-end food sector.

BVP Managing Director Duncan Brown began working with TIQ in 2017 to prepare for export and took part in TIQ trade missions to Hong Kong (2017 and 2019) and Singapore (2018).

He said TIQ’s support had put the company well ahead in its export journey.

‘Working with TIQ has helped BVP navigate the complex and daunting Asian food scene,’ he said.

‘We are farmers and growers on a fast-learning curve to become exporters, and their support and expertise has put us years ahead in terms of connections and know-how.

‘At the HOFEX and Food and Hotel Asia missions I had the opportunity to meet high-end supermarket buyers, executive chefs from fine dining restaurants, 5-star hotels and meat importers.

‘During the 2019 mission I chose premium food and meat importer Waves Pacific to represent Brisbane Valley Protein and our exporting goals became reality.’

Mr Brown encouraged other Queensland producers to have confidence and take their time to choose the right export partners.

‘Be yourself … people love dealing with the farmer direct,’ he said.

‘And find a niche – it is hard to compete on price so we need a clear quality differential.

‘Remember you are choosing them as well as them choosing you. Don’t be rushed into a partnership, you want to enjoy the relationship.’

Almost twice the size of the average bird, the super-sized quails are the result of careful selection over time by Hunter Valley farmer Charlie Scott, who painstakingly picked bigger quails and effectively developed his own breed.

An alliance between Mr Scott and BVP saw the Queensland business become custodians of what is now the world’s largest table quail.

‘70% of BVP’s quails have a dressed weight of 300 to 350 grams as compared to an average quail’s dressed weight of 180 to 200 grams,’ he said.

‘This makes the quails easier to cook and more enjoyable to eat.’

Mr Brown said the company’s three-year goal was to be exporting 10,000 birds a week into Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam.

Showcasing Queensland products in overseas markets and supporting Queensland exporters are both priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2022.

Brisbane Valley Poultry with their products

More Info +

Queensland exporter Lightweave sees future in Seoul

Brisbane tech company Lightweave has taken its next step into Asia after featuring in a Seoul showcase with TIQ’s support.

Brisbane tech company Lightweave has taken its next step into Asia after featuring in a Seoul showcase with TIQ’s support.

Lightweave was one of the Queensland immersive tech companies showcased at Asia’s largest virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) expo in late May.

The Seoul VR/AR Expo 2019 was first stop for an Austrade mission to Korea, Taiwan and Japan, designed to gain insights and build partnerships with VR/AR platform providers and investors in Asia’s tech hotspots.

Queensland firms were supported on the mission by TIQ’s Korea office.

Lightweave creates customisable technology that can be applied to any sector. The company’s newest development is a world-first augmented reality arena, which uses VR technology to recreate physical spaces as virtual game worlds.

The first of the arenas was launched at Westfield Chermside’s Kingpin Bowling Arcade in May and the technology is slated to roll out in 5,000 locations around the world.

Lightweave founder Sam Hussey said the company was working with TIQ to grow in Asia and expand into Europe and North America.

‘As we expand internationally it is an amazing pathway to have the assistance of TIQ to help us connect with organisations in our target markets.

‘We are then speaking with the right people who align with our vision and can help us grow rapidly.

‘Growing internationally can be daunting when you are trying to find the right partners or introductions to client. The assistance of TIQ in our key markets has allowed us to move faster and be speaking with the organisations who want to do business with Australian companies like ours.’

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Korea Daniel Kim said Queensland companies were well positioned to capitalise on Asia’s impressive VR/AR ecosystem.

‘The Korean VR/AR market, worth US$1.3 billion in 2017, is forecast to reach US$5.2 billion by 2020,’ he said.

‘I think there are significant opportunities to partner with Korean VR/AR game platforms and theme park providers who are seeking fresh content.’

Queensland has a diverse range of capability in immersive technologies, spanning industries such as gaming, product development, training, data visualisation, smart cities and health.

Newstead VR studio EmergeWorlds, which also joined the mission, has created a world-first VR education app for St John Ambulance and for Canberra’s Questacon science and technology centre.

Digital technologies and start-ups are two of the emerging export strengths identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

More Info +

‘Queenslander’ beef launched in Japan

A new beef brand ‘Queenslander’ was launched in Tokyo when Japan’s famous Iron Chef, Hiroyuki Sakai, featured the product at his La Rochelle restaurant.

New beef brand ‘Queenslander’ was launched in Tokyo recently when Japan’s famous Iron Chef, Hiroyuki Sakai, featured the product at his La Rochelle restaurant.

Chef Sakai prepared a meal showcasing the beef for government and industry leaders.

‘Queenslander’ is an original brand from Australia’s largest meat processing company, JBS Australia.

JBS Australia’s Commercial Manager Brendan Tatt said the beef would be shipped fresh and direct from Brisbane to Tokyo.

‘We identified a growing gap in the market for a particular style of beef that we could consistently supply from our state-of-the-art facility on the outskirts of Brisbane,’ he said.

‘More and more, we are finding Japanese consumers are interested in the provenance of their beef.

‘The release of the range-fed “Queenslander” brand allows JBS Australia to better tell that story direct to the consumer’s plate, building the relationship further and instilling their confidence in the clean, safe and healthy nature of our product.’

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Japan Tak Adachi said Japan is currently Queensland’s most valuable export market for beef.

‘With improving economic sentiment and a growing preference for leaner meat, demand for high-quality beef is increasing,’ he said.

Chef Sakai created a special menu for the launch, including Queenslander sirloin marinated in Saikyo-miso, Australian salmon meunière topped with clam sauce and spring radish, creamy carrot potage with a foam of nutmeg, and Queenslander beef fillet poêlé with smooth potato purée and apple mango with a scent of jasmine.

Chef Sakai said the beef worked well for a number of different cooking styles because it was lean and fresh.

‘In my opinion it is a lot tastier than beef with marbling because it is uncomplicated and easy to use,’ he said.

‘I’d like to carry on using this beef brand in my restaurants in the future.’

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk officially launched the beef brand at the event on 28 May, which was attended by representatives from government, industry associations and leading beef and agribusiness companies.

Queensland beef exporters are benefiting from reduced tariffs made possible by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement.

In 2017–2018, Queensland exported 583,090 tonnes of beef and veal, which made up 53% of Australia’s total beef and veal exports.

Agriculture is identified as one of the state’s traditional export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.