August 2020

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London Lord Mayor visits Queensland virtually

The Lord Mayor’s first ‘visit’ to Queensland was part of a wider Australian tour to enhance engagement between the City of London and Australia despite international travel disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Queensland welcomed The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman William Russell for the first time recently, as a part of an historic virtual visit.

The Lord Mayor’s first ‘visit’ to Queensland was part of a wider Australian tour to enhance engagement between the City of London and Australia despite international travel disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Queensland Agent-General and Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe Linda Apelt and TIQ Europe were integral to Alderman Russell putting Queensland on his program, and facilitated the Queensland components of the virtual visit.

‘Although virtual, this was a historic occasion and an important signal to the revitalised and increasing Queensland-UK trading relationship,’ Ms Apelt said.

‘The City, or the “Square Mile” as it is known in London, is a global centre for financial and professional services, and the City of London Corporation is an important and historic UK institution.

‘TIQ Europe is engaged with the City of London Corporation on a regular and increasing basis to unlock high-value trade and investment opportunities across green finance, pension funds, and the institutional investment, environmental, fintech, and social and governance sectors.’

The Lord Mayor of the City of London is also an international ambassador for the UK’s financial and professional services sector.

His Queensland visit included a webinar hosted by the Australian British Chamber of Commerce and the City of London Corporation, and a meeting with representatives from QSuper and the British Consul General for Queensland and the Northern Territory Jo Freeman, facilitated by TIQ.

Alderman Russell said he relished the opportunity to connect with Queensland.

‘We all know that the UK and Australia are old friends, so I was delighted to have been so warmly welcomed by His Excellency the Governor of Queensland and QSuper recently during my first ever virtual visit to the country,’ he said.

‘This was a particularly great opportunity to strengthen collaboration in green finance and fintech – 2 areas of our industry which will be key catalysts for post-pandemic global economic growth.’

The UK is the world’s leading net exporter of financial services, generating an industry trade surplus of nearly £63 billion.

Ms Freeman said the timing of Alderman Russell’s visit was fortuitous.

‘As we continue to work towards closer trading ties and negotiating a free trade agreement, it is important we focus on key areas of our industries, like financial and professional services, which offer even greater opportunities to strengthen future collaboration,’ she said.

Alderman Russell’s Queensland visit was in response to invitations issued by His Excellency the Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey AC and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk when they visited London last year.

A video courtesy call with His Excellency the Governor concluded the Queensland leg of the visit.

The virtual visit took place from 20–23 July and coincided with the conclusion of the first round of Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

Queensland businesses wishing to explore opportunities in the City of London should connect with the TIQ team in the UK.

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Queensland mandarins and avos a Jakarta hit

Fresh Queensland mandarins and avocados have been snapped up by shoppers in Jakarta after TIQ’s Indonesia team worked with producers to organise a special Taste of Queensland in-store promotion.

Fresh Queensland mandarins and avocados have been snapped up by shoppers in Jakarta after TIQ’s Indonesia team worked with producers to organise a special Taste of Queensland in-store promotion.

The 15-day promotion at 2 AEON supermarkets last month featured top-quality produce along with promotional staff who provided samples and information to shoppers.

AEON also posted health tips, recipes and cooking demonstrations to its Instagram account using Queensland ingredients as the main element.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Indonesia Ben Giles said the challenges of COVID-19 meant many Indonesian consumers were placing a greater emphasis on the freshness, quality and origin of produce.

‘Indonesian families are just like Queensland families – they have been re-assessing their shopping choices and their health and wellbeing as we all cope with the ongoing impact of the pandemic,’ Mr Giles said.

‘Jakarta has a growing middle class who are prepared to pay extra for the freshest, highest quality produce for themselves and their families.

‘That demand is now more important than ever, and this promotion built awareness of Queensland’s quality fresh produce offering and will help boost sales in the long term.

‘Hass avocados are sold for a premium here and are popular for their superior taste while the Royal Honey Murcott mandarins are known for their sweetness.’

Mr Giles said feedback from supermarket customers was positive, with 250 cartons of mandarins and avocados sold during the promotion.

He said the promotion was well timed given that the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) had recently come into force on 5 July.

‘Under the new agreement, over 99% of Australian goods exports (by value) can now enter Indonesia duty free or under significantly improved preferential arrangements,’ he said.

‘We expect the most noticeable trade benefits for Queensland to be in reduced tariffs and increased quotas for agriculture, so it’s very timely that Queensland producers are making their presence felt in Jakarta supermarkets.’

Four citrus producers from Mundubbera in the North Burnett region, including Ironbark Citrus, and an avocado producer from Bundaberg were involved in the Taste of Queensland promotion through their wholesale exporters.

The promotion ran at AEON’s Jakarta Garden City and Bumi Serpong Dami supermarkets from 15–29 July.

Queensland producers keen to explore export opportunities in Indonesia should connect with TIQ Indonesia today.

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

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Show support for Queensland exporters

With a range of events on the horizon, grant opportunities to explore, and a range of tips, advice, and planning guidance on offer, we are here to assist exporters as they consider their next global business opportunity.

#SupportQLDExport

 
As the Queensland Government’s dedicated global business agency, Trade and Investment Queensland helps the state’s exporters take their products to the world and remain globally competitive.

Exporters are significant contributors to the Queensland economy. Over the past year, exporters have been succeeding globally and locally, showing resilience, adaptability and dedication.

Whether it is through developing new products, building connections or leveraging new export opportunities, we are here to support our exporters and help them take their business to the world.

With a range of events on the horizon, grant opportunities to explore, and tips, advice and planning guidance on offer, we are here to assist exporters as they consider their next global business opportunity.

We encourage Queensland exporters to reach out to us to discuss opportunities and, if you are an existing client, discuss what your next steps might be with your trade adviser.

Join us on social

Follow our social channels to see the latest events and grant opportunities on offer, receive new information as it comes to hand, as well as see a suite of exporters who are showcasing the way they are adapting their businesses.

Using the hashtag #SupportQLDExport, join us LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and share your export story.

 

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Microba takes on Europe with SYNLAB

Biotech company Microba has partnered with Europe’s largest medical diagnostic services provider SYNLAB to take its world-leading gut microbiome analysis to the European market.

Biotech company Microba has partnered with Europe’s largest medical diagnostic services provider SYNLAB to take its world-leading gut microbiome analysis to the European market.

The partnership will provide SYNLAB’s network of Europe-based healthcare professionals with access to new and actionable information on their patients’ health through the co-delivered MyBiome analysis.

It’s the second international partnership for the start-up, which launched Australia’s first detailed gut microbiome analysis in June 2018 using research pioneered by their co-founders at The University of Queensland.

Microba CEO Blake Wills said the partnership would help Microba achieve its goal of improving human health globally.

‘Microba’s partnership with SYNLAB is a great example of 2 international forces coming together to embrace next-generation technologies and support local health care,’ Mr Wills said.

‘It will allow us to expand the reach of our technology into Europe and bring Australian-born innovation into larger overseas markets to positively impact more lives.

‘SYNLAB is a global leader in delivering medical diagnostic services and we are proud to be partnering to add advanced gut microbiome analysis to their portfolio, powered by Microba’s technology.’

Microba has helped more than 10,000 Australians assess their gut health using the company’s award-winning proprietary Metagenomic Analysis Platform (MAP™).

SYNLAB is the market leader in medical diagnostic services in Europe, with a presence in more than 40 countries across 4 continents.

The co-delivered MyBiome analysis will initially be launched in two countries by the end of this year.

TIQ has worked with Microba for a number of years, assisting with their partnership in Korea, access to the US market and helping the company make key connections in Europe.

Queensland Agent General and Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe Linda Apelt congratulated Microba on their new partnership.

‘We are delighted that we have been able to assist in Microba’s European success through introductions, in particular to European Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) expertise that enabled them to achieve the data privacy requirements of the agreement with SYNLAB and therefore to enable this deal,’ Ms Apelt said.

‘We look forward to assisting Microba’s further expansion across Europe.’

The life sciences sector is identified as one of Queensland’s emerging export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

To explore export opportunities for the life sciences and biotech sectors, connect with TIQ today.

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Study Queensland receives award for COVID-19 response

Queensland’s efforts to support its international student community through the COVID-19 crisis were publicly recognised last month by the Council of International Students Australia (CISA).

Queensland’s efforts to support international students through the COVID-19 crisis were publicly recognised last month by the Council of International Students Australia (CISA).

CISA’s national conference presented Study Queensland (SQ) with the award for Best International Student Support Initiative for its COVID-19 response.

TIQ Acting CEO Richard Watson said the award was particularly meaningful because it was decided by the peak organisation representing students themselves.

‘This award is recognition that Queensland’s swift response to take care of our international students has been effective and appreciated,’ Mr Watson said.

‘Achieving this has required a great effort by Study Queensland staff and others who have worked with them to support international students through a range of challenges, including financial hardship and travel restrictions.

‘Quickly establishing and administering these programs has been a huge undertaking, requiring long hours from our team.’

Since the pandemic began, Study Queensland has administered $15 million from the Queensland Government via the Queensland International Student Crisis Assistance Package.

This included $5 million to fund the online Queensland Student Hub, crisis accommodation, food relief at student hubs, mental health support, onshore study resources and employability workshops.

A further $10 million was allocated to support students in financial hardship, distributed as one-off $500 grants directly to students and to large providers to top up their own financial hardship funds.

More than 5,000 of the one-off payments have been distributed.

The CISA National Conference Awards were announced on 20 July.

Read more about the Queensland International Student Crisis Assistance Package.

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Zucero continues research on COVID-19 drug

Brisbane-based biotech company Zucero Therapeutics has received national funding to progress its drug Pixatimod towards clinical trials after a study indicated that Pixatimod can inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19.

Brisbane-based biotech company Zucero Therapeutics has received national funding to progress its drug Pixatimod towards clinical trials after a study indicated that Pixatimod can inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19.

A recent international study showed Pixatimod – a drug originally developed to fight cancer – had antiviral potential, inhibiting the infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by binding to the spike protein on the virus surface.

The funding from Therapeutic Innovation Australia’s Pipeline Accelerator COVID-19 will support bioanalytical and pharmacokinetic studies, the next critical aspects of drug development, in the laboratories of TetraQ at The University of Queensland.

Additional studies are being designed to test Pixatimod in animal models of COVID-19.

Zucero Executive Chairman Chris Burrell said the results from the study – which involved researchers from several universities, including 2 in Queensland – validated the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘In this rapidly changing environment, Zucero has responded quickly and is applying its internally designed, proprietary innovative technology to address this global public health challenge with very encouraging results,’ Mr Burrell said.

‘On the back of this new COVID-19 data and the emerging data from our Phase 1b oncology trial, we are seeking to accelerate our antiviral and oncology development programs with the aim of initiating Phase 2 clinical trials in late 2020 or early 2021.’

TIQ has helped Zucero Therapeutics to scope multiple markets for partnership and investment opportunities, with the company one of the Queensland biotech start-ups included in last year’s TIQ-California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI) FAST Program.

Zucero joins other Queensland-based institutions currently working on developing COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, including The University of Queensland, which moved its COVID-19 vaccine into human trials in June 2020.

The biotech sector is identified as an emerging export strength for Queensland in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Connecting Queensland METS to Chile’s mining hub

TIQ is partnering with one of Latin America’s most prominent mining industry bodies to host a special business-matching program for Queensland mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies this month.

TIQ is partnering with one of Latin America’s most prominent mining industry bodies to host a special business-matching program for Queensland mining equipment, technology and services (METS) companies this month.

Connect with Antofagasta will introduce Queensland METS companies directly to potential mining clients and key representatives from Antofagasta in northern Chile, with the help of the Antofagasta Industry Association (AIA).

TIQ Principal Trade and Investment Officer in Mackay Howard Hayes said the region around Antofagasta offered diverse opportunities for Queensland’s METS companies.

‘Antofagasta is a major service centre for the mining industry in Chile – just like Mackay in Queensland – that’s surrounded by a number of the largest mines in the world,’ Mr Hayes said.

‘Connect with Antofagasta will be a chance for Queensland METS companies to talk directly with potential customers and start building relationships with them through extended one-on-one meetings.

‘AIA plays a key role in procuring services for its member mining companies and it will also help Queensland companies learn about procurement avenues in Chile during this event.

‘We’re trying to replicate a full trade show experience despite the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning this will probably be the best opportunity this year for METS companies to explore a new international market in depth.’

Mr Hays emphasised that TIQ was well placed to help companies expand into markets in Latin America.

‘We want a wide variety of METS clients to assess this market because it’s one that’s really chasing Queensland and Australian mining expertise,’ he said.

‘TIQ can provide both the opportunities to make connections and in-market support on the ground  through our representatives in Queensland and Santiago, who are experienced in the METS and mining industry.’

Mr Hays said Chile’s mature mining operating environment was similar to Australia’s.

‘Chilean companies’ understanding of productivity principles and safety standards is equivalent to what we have in Australia,’ Mr Hayes said.

‘Queensland companies are used to being part of structured and efficient supply chains and the Antofagasta region is like that.

‘There’s not many changes Queensland companies need to make to become part of those supply chains and feed their products into a very big mining market.

‘Operators in Antofagasta understand the impact that our technology will have on their industry and have the money to afford to buy it.’

Queensland METS companies interested in participating in Connect with Antofagasta should contact Howard Hayes.

The METS sector is identified as an emerging export strength in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Launch U gives exporters an edge

Queensland exporters will gain a global edge thanks to a new Study Queensland program harnessing the knowledge of the state’s international and domestic students.

Queensland exporters will gain a global edge thanks to a new Study Queensland program harnessing the knowledge of the state’s international and domestic students.

The Launch U Trade Accelerator is connecting students with Queensland exporters to help create export plans tailored to individual businesses and overseas markets.

Over 500 students from more than 30 countries have registered to participate in the program as part of the wider Study Queensland Launch U Program.

Study Queensland Executive Director Shannon Willoughby said the program offered major advantages to Queensland exporters and to international and domestic students.

‘There’s a huge wealth of knowledge within our student cohort that local businesses can utilise,’ Ms Willoughby said.

‘For example, the cultural and geopolitical insights that international students can offer when undertaking targeted research projects will help businesses explore new market opportunities effectively.

‘Whether you’re a medical equipment manufacturer wanting to engage Malaysia or a specialty tea producer wanting a foothold in Singapore, the Launch U Trade Accelerator will allow businesses to enact plans, scale up and grow their offshore activities when restrictions are lifted.’

The Launch U Trade Accelerator uses a secure portal to connect students with businesses based on their studies and cultural backgrounds.

Participating exporters compile a detailed project brief and then a team of students creates a proposal that addresses challenges and opportunities in a particular international market.

Gold-Coast based Mexx Engineering, one of the companies registered for the program, already knows how valuable student insights can be.

The company – which provides robotic and automated manufacturing solutions –previously enlisted the help of international students to better understand the intricacies of New Zealand’s robotics market.

The students’ research saw Mexx Engineering secure a contract to design a bagging and conveyor system for a food and beverage manufacturer on the country’s South Island.

Mexx Engineering Office Manager Zean Howell said supporting students to enhance their real-world skills was also important.

‘Right now is a good time for us to identify our strengths in the global market and we’ll be engaging the students to help with that,’ Mr Howell said.

‘It’s very important to be supporting students as well – they’re the leaders of tomorrow.’

The Launch U Trade Accelerator Program is one part of the Launch U Program, designed to enhance the global employability of Queensland students.

International and domestic students who successfully complete the program receive a micro-credential backed by the Queensland Government.

The first round of the Launch U Trade Accelerator Program began on 22 June 2020 and the next round is due to commence in November 2020.

See the program’s webpage for more information.

International education is identified as a key services export in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Mines and Money: driving investment virtually

TIQ teamed up with representatives from more than 30 Queensland resource companies and major projects to engage with a global investment audience during the inaugural Mines and Money Online Connect Asia Pacific, held recently.

TIQ teamed up with representatives from more than 30 Queensland resource companies and major projects to engage with a global investment audience during the inaugural Mines and Money Online Connect Asia Pacific, held recently.

Around 1,500 participants from more than 60 countries signed up for the 3-day Mines and Money event, which moved online for the first time this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Queensland Government sponsorship enabled TIQ, in partnership with 3 government departments, to profile investment opportunities in the state’s resources sector and promote major projects.

TIQ Mining, Resources and Energy Director Anthony Christensen said the event provided great international exposure for the Queensland resources sector, especially for regional and remote operators.

‘Queensland is a highly prospective jurisdiction where resource exploration and development are long established and strongly supported by government,’ Mr Christensen said.

‘Being able to deliver that message to investors through one-on-one meetings was a great opportunity for Queensland resources companies.

‘The new digital format worked incredibly well – it enabled more regional and remote-based companies to participate.

‘The online delivery also saw international participation exceed 50% for the first time and yielded an almost 130% increase in investor meetings undertaken compared to the 2019 event.’

TIQ secured keynote, plenary and panel session speaking opportunities, alongside 5 featured project presentations by Queensland project advocates.

TIQ also supported 6 Queensland companies with virtual booths and provided representatives of a further 17 companies with access to investor meetings via the event’s dedicated one-on-one meeting platform.

Event chat rooms highlighted key focus areas, including the North West Minerals Province,  METS technologies delivering new resource development and processing opportunities, and opportunities in vanadium – a rare earths mineral used to create steel alloys and redox flow batteries.

The resources sector contributed almost $5.2 billion in royalties alone to the Queensland economy during 2018–19, and is expected to play a key role in Queensland’s economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

TIQ’s Mining, Resources and Energy team coordinated speaking and profiling opportunities across all 3 days of the event for Queensland companies, connecting them with international investors from Japan, China, Hong Kong, India, Germany, the United States and the UK.

Attendees heard from 126 speakers, including Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham, Minster for Regional Development and Manufacturing Glenn Butcher and over 30 speakers from companies engaged by TIQ.

Mines and Money Online Connect Asia Pacific was held 23–25 June, with the Queensland Government a major sponsor.

TIQ acted as the government’s lead agency, working closely with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and the Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation to help deliver the event.

To explore opportunities in Queensland’s mining and resources sector, connect with TIQ today.

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Nutworks secures funding for COVID-19 recovery

Yandina-based macadamia exporter Nutworks has received a $50,000 grant to help it recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Yandina-based macadamia exporter Nutworks has received a $50,000 grant to help it recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

The company will now be able to introduce a new macadamia product to reduce its exposure to market fluctuations, supported by funding from the Market Diversification and Resilience Grant Program run by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Demand for Nutworks’ products has fallen across all markets due to COVID-19 and the company has been forced to stand down employees.

The grant will allow the business to diversify and meet growing consumer demand for high-end macadamia products in the UK and Australia by purchasing new equipment, developing an ecommerce website and attending trade shows.

Nutworks CEO Kylie Watson said the funding would help to build the company’s resilience and create employment.

‘The project will build our resilience by diversifying offerings, and ensuring reliable, ongoing turnover, both for our hundred growers and the company,’ Ms Watson said.

‘Project activities will provide job security for our staff in the recovery from COVID-19 and create 35 new jobs within our South East Queensland business, in areas such as research and development, production and marketing, and along the supply chain.’

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Nutworks was a prime example of a Queensland agribusiness building resilience and finding opportunity from adversity.

‘Queensland’s plan for economic recovery is all about jobs, and that is exactly what we are supporting with this grant,’ Mr Furner said.

‘The Queensland Government is working closely with industry on the economic recovery of the agriculture and fisheries sectors, including agribusiness exporters who support thousands of jobs.’

TIQ has worked closely with Nutworks over many years, assisting their entry into the Hong Kong and China markets and helping introduce the company to potential buyers.

More than 150 businesses applied for the first round of the $500,000 Market Diversification and Resilience Grants Program for exporters affected by COVID-19, which is part of the Queensland Government’s $27.25 million coronavirus industry economic recovery package.

You can learn more about the support available to exporters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on our TIQ industry recovery package page.