May 2020

More Info +

TIQ named in best IPAs

TIQ has been named one of the Asia Pacific’s best investment promotion agencies (IPAs) in Site Selection magazine’s 2020 rankings.

TIQ has been named one of the Asia-Pacific’s best investment promotion agencies (IPAs) in Site Selection magazine’s 2020 rankings.

Every May, as part of the magazine’s Global Best to Invest Report, proprietary rankings are produced recognising agencies that the market deems best in class.

The awards are voted on by 1,000 investment-attraction experts from around the world, along with corporate decision-makers and consultants.

Award criteria include:

  • most professionally responsive to inquiries
  • staff possessing the best knowledge and language diversity
  • offering access to user-friendly databases of sites and incentives
  • readily available information on timing expectations of permitting and other processes
  • access to recent investors in the region who can vouch for the area and agency
  • best reputation for protecting investor confidentiality
  • reputation for after-care services
  • website information and design.

TIQ’s Investment Attraction Unit works to connect the most exciting Queensland projects with potential investors from around the world. We’re pleased to be recognised in the rankings – and proud to help create jobs and prosperity in Queensland by promoting the state’s investment opportunities.

Attracting foreign direct investment to Queensland is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Contact us to find out more about our investment services.

More Info +

Shop My Town hampers fly into HK market

Gourmet hampers filled with South East Queensland produce have joined the increasing flow of exports out of Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport as Asia’s COVID-19 lockdown measures begin to ease.

Gourmet hampers filled with South East Queensland produce have joined the increasing flow of exports out of Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport as Asia’s COVID-19 lockdown measures begin to ease.

Ipswich ecommerce business Shop My Town are sending a trial shipment of hampers on 26 May to key contacts in Hong Kong on one of the dedicated freight flights that have recently resumed from Wellcamp Airport.

The trial is a first step in marketing luxury hampers to Hong Kong’s Aussie expat community and came about after TIQ introduced Shop My Town to contacts at Wellcamp Airport.

The shipment is an opportunity to test logistics for future exports.

Shop My Town’s luxury hampers contain high-quality products from 7 producers from the Lockyer Valley, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich and the Scenic Rim, including TIQ clients Summer Land Camels, Seatonfire Chilli Chocolate, Fresh Macadamia Company and Mother Meg’s.

Shop My Town Project Manager Kelby Williams said getting their hampers on the flight was a win not just for Shop My Town but also for local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘We’re very excited to have the opportunity to help South East Queensland businesses continue to trade through these tough times,’ Mr Williams said.

‘These hampers are about giving those businesses another channel to sell through as well as possibly opening up whole new markets for their products.

‘The hampers will help to build the region’s reputation internationally and we’re proud to be helping, in a small way, to build the volume of freight through Wellcamp Airport too.’

TIQ Principal Trade and Investment Officer for the Ipswich Region Julie Mark said she hoped Shop My Town’s ability to take advantage of new opportunities amid the COVID-19 pandemic would inspire other businesses.

‘The resumption of freight flights out of Wellcamp Airport is welcome news for South East Queensland exporters and we’re excited that businesses like Shop My Town can utilise these flights,’ Ms Mark said.

‘TIQ is keen to help more local businesses take advantage of any new opportunities connected to Wellcamp Airport that may open up in the coming months.’

Shop My Town identified Hong Kong as an ideal market to target thanks to its large expat community and weekly direct freight flights from Wellcamp Airport.

The company plans to sell the hampers via Country Cartel, a specially designed ecommerce platform.

Mr Williams said Shop My Town was keen to expand their hamper concept to include produce from other regions of Queensland once non-essential travel restrictions lift.

‘For example, Far North Queensland already has the export know-how and a quality product base, so we want to see what products we can take from Cairns and the Atherton Tableland into Hong Kong and Asia,’ Mr Williams said.

‘Ultimately, we want to become a global portal for people buying gourmet hampers.

‘It will mean that you can be sitting in London enjoying a brisk UK morning and have some luxury goods from your home region on your table for elevenses.’

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Companies supplying products for the Hong Kong hampers:

More Info +

Export Connections: networking and learning online

Southern Queensland businesses can explore future export opportunities and connect with other SMEs during an online workshop on 27 May.

Southern Queensland businesses can explore future export opportunities and connect with other SMEs during an online workshop on 27 May.

The second online Export Connections workshop will feature an exporter case study, Q&A, and a breakout session where participants can brainstorm common challenges and get advice from their exporting peers.

Marl’s Wellness Company CEO Maryann Thexton attended the first online workshop last month and said it was a great way to make professional connections and fight the isolation of COVID-19.

Her company has developed a range of prebiotics and probiotics that can be added to processed food products.

‘It’s quite helpful for small and medium business leaders to collaborate in the current climate even if we’re in completely different industries because business can be quite a lonely situation at the best of times,’ Ms Thexton said.

‘Being able to network and get the benefit of the knowledge of the TIQ team was amazing.

‘If export is on your “to do” list it’s absolutely imperative that you engage with people who are in the same space as well as government and industry bodies for whom export is their speciality.’

GI Building Sciences General Manager Rod Stead, whose company manufactures and exports building insulation, said he found the online format easy and efficient.

‘Attending was quick, sharp and effective and I could fit more into my day without the hassle of travelling somewhere,’ Mr Stead said.

‘I enjoyed the breakout session because there’s nothing like learning from the experiences of others.

‘As exporters we have the same challenges and sessions like these can identify synergies between businesses.

‘I made some connections after the meeting with a view to possibly working with those businesses in the future which was great.’

Mr Stead said any business considering exporting would find attending Export Connections worthwhile.

‘You should grab the opportunity to understand what you can learn to help you grow your business,’ he said.

‘It was a fantastic event and I’m looking forward to the next one.’

Export Connections workshops have been held in person around Queensland since 2019 as a way for exporters to network and learn from each other.

TIQ has taken these sessions online during the COVID-19 pandemic as one of several initiatives it’s implementing in response to the crisis.

The next free online Export Connections workshop will be on 27 May. Keynote speaker will be Mr Jeff Flood, CEO, Summer Land Camels. The workshop, including brainstorming sessions, will be facilitated by Brian Ruddle, Managing Director, Impact Innovation Group.

Register here for the online workshop. For more information email Sharyn Byrnes.

The Export Connections workshops are delivered by specialist innovation and technology commercialisation consultancy Impact Innovation Group, which operates across the Asia Pacific region.

More Info +

Kialla supplies Asia’s lockdown baking boom

Queensland organic grain company Kialla Pure Foods has pivoted from bulk sales to a new focus on the retail market as consumers worldwide embrace a lockdown baking boom.

Queensland organic grain company Kialla Pure Foods has pivoted from bulk sales to the retail market as consumers worldwide embrace a lockdown baking boom.

Based at Greenmount on the Darling Downs, the company watched in dismay as bulk exports to Asia slowed from January to March this year, but were heartened to see retail sales of organic pancake mix and flour products taking off in Japan and Korea.

Kialla Pure Foods Managing Director Quentin Kennedy said the pandemic had changed how the company approached exporting its certified organic grains and flours, which include everything from wheat flour to products based on newly popular grains such as spelt, quinoa, millet and more.

‘Traditionally 90% of our exports are in bulk to the food service and manufacturing buyers, and only 10% go directly into the retail sector,’ Mr Kennedy said.

‘But we’ve been wanting to move away from bulk exports in Asian markets for a while because we’re competing against Turkish and Russian flour producers and it’s difficult to compete with them on a price basis.

‘The home baking boom brought about by COVID-19 has given us an opportunity to explore a retail focus more fully.’

Mr Kennedy said the company’s retail exports from 1 March to 15 May were up 141% overall on the same period last year, with exports to Japan jumping 251%.

He said Korea was another market that had shown real growth for Kialla Pure Foods during COVID-19.

TIQ helped the company enter the Korean market in 2004 and Kialla representatives have also joined TIQ trade missions to Seoul.

TIQ Korea Business Development Manager Charley Hyun said the COVID-19 pandemic had increased Korean demand for healthy products, including Kialla’s mixes.

‘Koreans have been working from home while their kids also study at home and they have been relishing the clean, green and safe image of Australian food products, especially organic foods,’ Mr Hyun said.

‘A focus by parents on healthy foods has seen sales of Kialla Pure Foods’ organic pancake mix increase by 30–50% each month since January.’

Kialla’s Quentin Kennedy said the company was now looking at how to differentiate itself from competitors in the retail space.

‘We’re looking at ways to compete in the retail sector such as promoting the traceability of our products through our Plate2farm tracker,’ he said.

‘Plate2farm allows consumers to track their product back to the farmer who grew it via a batch number so they can watch a video of the farm and read the farmer’s story.

‘Because of the increased demand we have seen domestically in Australia due to COVID-19, we’re looking to roll this feature out in Japan, Korea and Taiwan to help promote our organic pancake mix and other organic flour products in retail markets.’

Mr Kennedy said the next challenge would be converting new Kialla customers into long-term ones.

‘There was already a trend towards natural and healthy products before the pandemic, but I think people will now place a different value on food and appreciate it a little more because they’ve discovered the enjoyment of creating good food for themselves,’ he said.

‘Kialla Pure Foods’ new challenge is how do we continue to speak to those people and serve them as they keep creating their sourdough loaves.’

Exports currently account for approximately 30% of Kialla Pure Foods’ business, with the company exporting around 1,000 tonnes of flour annually, milled from grains grown by certified organic farmers in Queensland, interstate and, when necessary, overseas.

The company employs 37 staff at its Greenmount mill.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

More Info +

Apply for Go Global grants by 29 May

Businesses have until 29 May to apply to the TIQ Go Global program, which provides export-ready small and medium-sized businesses with financial support to enter a new international market.

As the world starts to re-emerge from lockdown, now is the time for Queensland SMEs to apply for a Go Global grant to help take their products overseas.

Queensland businesses have until 29 May to apply to Go Global, a TIQ program that provides export-ready small and medium-sized businesses with financial support to enter a new international market.

Two levels of project funding are available:

  • Micro Export Grants up to $5,000 (excluding GST)
  • Macro Export Grants up to $25,000 (excluding GST).

Grants are available to support projects that improve your ability to export goods/services or engage in international trade. Eligible projects may include:

  • export business advisory services and tools
  • product testing and redesign, packaging and labelling for export
  • support to gain export accreditation
  • trial export programs (eg logistics)
  • product approvals, installation, training, operations and maintenance required for a new client/market
  • professional advice.

Grants are not available for everyday business operations, and other conditions also apply.

To be eligible to apply, you must:

  • be headquartered in Queensland
  • have no more than 200 full-time equivalent employees
  • have a specific project requiring funding to finalise a sale into a new international market that can be completed within 12 months
  • be pre-qualified by TIQ as export-ready (although you do not need to be currently exporting)
  • be able to match the Go Global contribution with cash contributions sourced internally or from investors, customers or business partners (not other grant sources).

This application round will close at 1.00pm on 29 May 2020.

For more information on the program, contact your local TIQ team.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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

More Info +

ARM Hub offers help to manufacturers

Queensland manufacturers facing supply challenges caused by COVID-19 can seek expert advice from the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Hub based at Northgate in Brisbane.

Queensland manufacturers facing supply challenges caused by COVID-19 can seek expert advice from the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Hub based at Northgate in Brisbane.

Launched in early 2020, the ARM Hub is a not-for-profit, collaborative facility that uses advanced robotics to find smarter solutions to manufacturing challenges.

ARM Hub Technical Director Professor Jonathan Roberts from QUT said the hub team was ready and eager to support operational transformation during this challenging time and beyond.

‘Businesses can use the ARM Hub to explore, experiment and implement advanced manufacturing solutions, powered by robotics and assistive technologies like augmented and virtual reality.’ Professor Roberts said.

‘The hub offers design capabilities, from industrial, process and digital through to workflow, engineering and architectural design.

‘Additionally, our Learning Factory is available for businesses to see and trial the technology firsthand.’

The hub has already worked with a local venture that is developing a ventilator to help fight COVID-19.

The hub’s robotics and design team supported the prototyping of the OzVader ventilator, which was designed and manufactured in Queensland.

The ARM Hub is led by the Queensland Government and delivered in partnership with QUT and Brisbane firm Urban Art Projects, who offer world-class expertise in advanced manufacturing.

Businesses needing manufacturing support can get in touch with the ARM Hub to schedule a video call or teleconference to discuss their needs.

As a first step, they should email Peta Portelli, the hub’s Business Development Manager.

Manufacturers and suppliers can also register supply needs and express interest in filling supply-chain gaps caused by COVID-19 with the Queensland Government.

More information for exporters affected by COVID-19 is available on the TIQ industry recovery package webpage.

More Info +

Exporters express optimism despite COVID-19

Many Queensland exporters are still optimistic despite the challenges of COVID-19, according to intelligence gathered by TIQ as part of regular contact with clients.

Many Queensland exporters are still optimistic despite the challenges of COVID-19, according to recent intelligence gathered by TIQ as part of regular contact with clients.

Around 300 exporters across Queensland were contacted by the TIQ team in April, giving businesses an opportunity to share their pain points and stories of resilience.

Exporters reported:

  • challenges linked to domestic lockdown requirements, travel restrictions, reduced demand for fresh produce, freight and logistics issues and loss of supply chains
  • impacts from market closures due to COVID-19, although some markets (such as China) were starting to re-open
  • increased costs and reduced sales, affecting their short-term ability to sustain their workforce.

On the other hand, they also reported:

  • strong demand for products related to managing COVID-19 and for products into certain markets not disrupted by the pandemic
  • where possible, a shift to staff working from home, continuing to drive business activity
  • in many cases, a shift to online platforms for sales, demonstrations, course development for e-learning, and marketing and promotion.

The resilience displayed by exporters was impressive, with most expressing optimism about their medium- to long-term prospects when normal trade can resume.

TIQ is working hard to support businesses throughout this period and to help them emerge strongly from the pandemic.

New and ongoing export opportunities are being highlighted through a range of initiatives, including our China-focused webinars, which present expert insights on topics ranging from ecommerce to intellectual property. Executive roundtables with industry leaders are also being convened to gather input on strategies for post-COVID-19 recovery.

In addition, details of state and federal support programs are listed on the TIQ website, including how to access the federal government’s $110 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism.

Many thanks to all the businesses who shared their views with our team. Please do contact your local TIQ adviser or submit an enquiry through our website if you would like to share further insights or request additional support.

More Info +

EMDG funds for Queensland exporters

Queensland exporters should start thinking now about applying to Austrade’s Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme, which will re-open on 1 July.

Queensland exporters should start preparing now to apply to Austrade’s Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme when it opens on 1 July.

The scheme – which reimburses eligible exporters for a percentage of their promotional costs in overseas markets – has just received an extra $49.8 million in funding to help businesses deal with expenses caused by COVID-19.

In response to the disruption caused by the pandemic, applications lodged this year can claim expenses for events that have been cancelled due to circumstances beyond a business’s control.

A total of $207.7 million in EMDG funding will available, the highest ever amount for the scheme.

Applicants to EMDG must have:

  • income of less than $50 million in the grant year
  • incurred at least $15,000 of eligible expenses (first-time applicants can combine two years’ expenses).

They must also have promoted one of the following:

  • export of goods or most services
  • inbound tourism
  • export of intellectual property and know-how
  • conferences and events held in Australia.

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 cost 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
  • registration and insurance of eligible intellectual property.

The application period for this year’s EDMG will run from 1 July to 30 November. Exporters should start organising their records and checking what’s required so that they are well prepared to apply later in the year.

More reminders will appear on the TIQ website closer to the opening date.

Helping Queensland exporters promote their products in overseas markets is a key goal of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

More Info +

Trade data: COVID impacts but some markets grow

Queensland’s merchandise trade data for the 12 months to the end of March reflects the impacts of COVID-19 and falling resources prices, but also shows exports increasing into some ‘second tier’ Asian markets.

Queensland’s merchandise trade data for the 12 months to the end of March reflects the impacts of COVID-19 and falling resources prices, but also shows exports increasing into some emerging Asian markets.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released on 7 May shows that the value of Queensland’s goods exports fell by 3.0% – from $84.6 billion in the 12 months to March 2019 to $82.1 billion in the 12 months to March 2020.

The decrease was driven by a fall in the value of some resources exports, with subdued industrial production across several of Queensland’s major trading partners lowering demand and prices.

Demand for steel has fallen worldwide, and COVID-19 lockdowns in key markets have reduced power demand, leading to a decline in prices for both metallurgical and thermal coal.

LNG exports were an exception, with Queensland Treasury estimating that the value of LNG exports rose by 0.7% to $15.4 billion in the 12 months to March 2020. LNG export volumes for March 2020 also show no discernible COVID-19 impact, with reduced deliveries to China offset by an increase in the number of deliveries to alternative LNG markets, such as Malaysia and Korea.

The value of beef exports also rose for the year to date, increasing by 19.1% to $6.7 billion in the 12 months to March 2020. This rise reflects both higher export prices and higher volumes, as Queensland graziers have slaughtered more cattle in response to drought conditions. On the other hand, beef exports to the Chinese market have fallen substantially since the COVID-19 outbreak began, with COVID-19 restrictions reducing demand from Chinese businesses such as restaurants.

Queensland merchandise exports to the state’s top 5 markets have also fallen over the past 12 months due to COVID-19, with exports to China, India and Korea dropping by around 1% and exports to Taiwan and Japan dropping by around 10%. However, exports to Vietnam and Malaysia increased by 36.3% and 41.2% respectively over the same period.

Queensland is consistently among Australia’s strongest export performers, with the annual total of merchandise exports exceeding that of New South Wales and Victoria combined since July 2018.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Information for exporters affected by COVID-19 is available on the TIQ industry recovery package webpage.

More Info +

Scenic Rim exporters go local during COVID-19

Four TIQ clients have jumped on a new sales opportunity in the South East Queensland market while their export sales are disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four TIQ clients have jumped on a new sales opportunity in the South East Queensland market while their export sales are disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Export-quality products from Lime Caviar Company, Scenic Rim Brewery, Summer Land Camels and Kalfresh will feature in the new Scenic Rim Farm Box, an online shopping initiative to promote Scenic Rim producers to Brisbane residents.

Home deliveries of the fully customisable boxes of fresh produce and gourmet products commenced in early May.

The Lime Caviar Company produces world-exclusive frozen finger lime pearls from its farm approximately 16km south-east of Rathdowney.

The company’s exports are currently suspended due to the pandemic.

Lime Caviar Company owner and Manager Ian Douglas said while the company had experienced great success exporting to countries as remote as the Seychelles, they were still in the process of developing a local market.

‘One of things we’ve been aiming to do is develop a market of home users for our product in Australia by getting our product directly to them, and the Scenic Rim Farm Box idea fits that precisely,’ Mr Douglas said.

‘People overseas seem to know more about the product than Australians, so the more we can get our product into the Australian home-user community and educate people about it, the better.’

TIQ Principal Trade and Investment Officer for the Ipswich Region Julie Mark said flexibility and adaptability were vital for the long-term survival of any exporter.

‘The ability of TIQ’s clients to pivot and take advantages of new opportunities like the Scenic Rim Farm Box is exactly what’s needed when working with export markets,’ Ms Mark said.

‘The disruption caused by COVID-19 to international markets has been unprecedented.

‘Any Queensland exporters who have proven themselves to be adaptable during this crisis will be well placed to take advantage of new opportunities after the pandemic.

‘The farm box initiative will help our clients acquire new connections and customers in the meantime.’

Lime Caviar’s Ian Douglas said he would also be ready to export again as soon as normal trade resumed.

‘We’re still picking and processing, and we’ve got a considerable amount of product in freezer storage at Rocklea in Brisbane,’ he said.

‘As soon as the global economy starts to improve, we’ll be retrieving that and sending it around the world once again.’

The Scenic Rim Farm Box is an initiative of Eat Local Week and the Scenic Regional Council.

Supporting Queensland exporters is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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