November 2019

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Toowoomba and Cairns to get new export centres

Toowoomba and Cairns are both on track to become export hotspots following the decision to fund two multimillion-dollar regional trade distribution centres (RTDCs) instead of one.

Toowoomba and Cairns are both on track to become export hotspots following the decision to fund two multimillion-dollar regional trade distribution centres (RTDCs) instead of one.

The new centres are a Queensland Government initiative to boost access to overseas markets for agricultural producers, stimulate high-value farming and processing, and create jobs in regional Queensland.

Toowoomba and Cairns each reached the last phase of a competitive selection process that began in May 2018, with one centre originally on offer.

Toowoomba’s Wagner Group Holdings and Cairns business Air Freight Handling Services each submitted business cases to locate the centre at their local airports. The government has now announced that both centres will receive funding.

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said Wagners planned to expand an existing distribution centre at the Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, adding 3,000 square metres to the facility.

‘The expansion will comprise four state-of-the-art large cold rooms, a temperature-controlled store room, a store room and an external storage area,’ he said.

‘The new facility will be used to process premium export goods including beef, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, pork and packaged nuts.’

In Cairns, Air Freight Handling Services will construct a new state-of-the-art 3,400 square metre facility at Cairns International Airport.

Mr Dick said the Cairns centre would boost access to markets in Asia, Europe and other global markets for Queensland’s primary producers.

‘As well as creating jobs, the centre will allow North Queensland’s fruit and seafood industries along with a range of other industries improved access to international markets which, in turn will have a flow-on benefit to regional communities,’ he said.

‘The Cairns export hub will mean even more of our world-class seafood and agricultural produce including fish and crustaceans, frozen prawns, avocadoes, melons, citrus, blueberries, mangoes and other tropics fruits will head overseas, boosting our economy and creating jobs.’

Construction on both facilities is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2020, with openings planned for 2021.

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

If you have an agricultural product you think could succeed in an overseas market, contact one of TIQ’s regional advisors.

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Amazon gives expert tips for online selling

Around 50 Queensland SMEs were given a valuable lesson in online selling from representatives of one of the world’s largest online retailers last month.

Did you know that having 3 or more images on an Amazon detail page can increase sales conversion by more than 30%?

That’s just one of the valuable tips Amazon experts gave Queensland SMEs at a recent sellers’ workshop in Brisbane.

Around 50 Queensland SMEs were given a valuable lesson in online selling from representatives of one of the world’s largest online retailers last month.

TIQ and the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training partnered with Amazon Australia to present the Selling on Amazon 101 workshop and networking event on 2 October.

The workshop was designed to cater both for SMEs already selling their products on Amazon and those who would like to.

During the workshop participants learned about everything from setting up a seller account to creating competitive offers.

Nicky Piljic from TIQ’s Urban Infrastructure and Knowledge Industries team said the aim was to show Queensland SMEs how to make the most of the global ecommerce platform.

‘We wanted SMEs to see how they can use Amazon to increase their export potential,’ Ms Piljic said.

‘This was a great opportunity for them to learn about Amazon’s tools and resources, and how to get expert help when they need it.

‘Hopefully the workshop will inspire them to get their products onto Amazon if they don’t already have a presence there.’

TIQ has helped connect a number of Queensland businesses with international ecommerce platforms, including Grove Juice to Korea’s Market Kurly platform, a variety of Queensland sellers to Japan’s Kitchen Garden platform, and Summer Land Camels to Amazon Launchpad.

The Amazon workshop also gave participants the opportunity to network with other companies interested in ecommerce.

The event was held on 2 October at The Precinct in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, and a recording is now available along with a summary of information and resources shared during the event.

Helping Queensland SMEs grow their ecommerce presence is one of the initiatives of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Preparing overseas nurses for country Queensland

A new digitally enhanced training and mentorship program is preparing nurses from overseas countries for work in regional and remote Queensland hospitals, with support from TIQ’s team.

A new digitally enhanced training and mentorship program is preparing nurses from overseas countries for work in regional and remote Queensland hospitals, with support from TIQ’s Study Queensland team.

The Leadership and Communication eMentor program provides internationally qualified nurses with skills in communication, leadership and critical thinking to prepare them to work in the Australian healthcare sector.

It also provides ongoing remote support and mentorship as the nurses practise in rural, regional and remote Queensland.

The program is a collaboration between Study Queensland’s Queensland International Education and Training Partnership Fund (IET Partnership Fund) Southern Cross University (SCU), Practera, Central Queensland University and India’s KLE Institute of Nursing Sciences.

Australian Government figures indicate that national demand for nurses is expected to quickly exceed supply, with a projected shortfall of approximately 85,000 nurses by 2025, and 123,000 nurses by 2030.

To address this, the healthcare sector is encouraging Australian nurses to return to practice, and internationally qualified nurses to practise in Australia.

But, according to Southern Cross University project lead Dr Christina Aggar, overseas-trained nurses face significant socio-cultural issues when integrating into Australia’s healthcare workforce.

She said nurses from India are a good example of capable nurses who need more support to fulfil their potential in Australia.

‘Nurses trained in India come from a system where they’re often inadequately positioned in the overall hierarchy of patient care teams,’ Dr Aggar said.

‘They’re also poorly recognised for their clinical and public health decision-making, and often lack the leadership and critical thinking skills needed in Australia.

‘This program will teach them the necessary communication and leadership skills so they can successfully integrate into the Australian nursing workforce.’

The program is delivered through a web application that uses best-practice user experience design elements to make it available on smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptops.

‘Ultimately, the program will give Queensland employers access to high-quality, employment-ready healthcare professionals,’ Dr Aggar said.

Nursing students from India, the Philippines, Brazil, France and South Africa recently trialled the app while on placement at SCU’s Gold Coast campus.

The IET Partnership Fund is managed by Study Queensland within TIQ, and is a key initiative of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

If your organisation would like to apply for funding, applications for the current round of the IET Partnership Fund 2019–20 are now open.

Supporting regional growth is a key priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Apply for funding to take your SME overseas

More of Queensland’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are being invited to apply for funding to travel to an overseas market to further their export ambitions.

More of Queensland’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are being invited to apply for funding to travel to an overseas market to further their export ambitions.

The Exporter Market Engagement Program (EMEP) is an expanded version of a previous program, Developing Future Leaders, which delivered successful outcomes for the 9 Queensland SMEs who participated in 2018 and 2019.

The upgraded program provides an opportunity for up to 20 SMEs to engage with an export market in one of TIQ’s 16 overseas offices.

Successful applicants will be funded to travel to their selected market, where they will carry out market research and identify export opportunities for their products or services, with support from TIQ’s local staff.

TIQ Acting CEO Richard Watson said this was a unique opportunity for export-ready Queensland SMEs to gain the insights and networks that only come from on-the-ground experience.

‘The Exporter Market Engagement Program offers $7,000 to SMEs who are export-ready or already exporting to give them a helping hand into new markets,’ he said.

‘We are delighted to be able to use the TIQ overseas office network and in-market expertise to help them undertake targeted research and business development in overseas markets.

‘This program will give participants access to local knowledge, international networks and TIQ’s resources, which should give them a competitive edge in understanding and trading in overseas markets.’

A participant in the previous incarnation of the program, Roger Piva, Chairman of the Inkerman Cane Growers Organisation Limited, said spending time in his target market of Japan had brought real advantages over communicating remotely.

Mr Piva is working on a project to produce fuel pellets from cane tops and trash, which can be used as renewable power source.

‘We had already been working with Trade and Investment Queensland to promote our projects to potential investors and off-takers in Japan for over a year, but the program allowed representatives to travel to Japan and meet key stakeholders to promote the Burdekin Renewable Fuels Project,’ Mr Piva said.

‘The most valuable takeaway from our visit is confirmation that there is significant demand for our product.

‘This feedback would not be possible through emails or even videoconferences as the ability to be in the same room as potential investors and for them to see and feel our product is invaluable.’

Applicants to the program must employ fewer than 200 staff and have Queensland headquarters or significant Queensland operations.

Participants are expected to spend the equivalent of 2 weeks in the relevant market, submit a final report and contribute any funds over $7,000 required to complete the program.

TIQ is the Queensland Government’s global business agency, with offices in 16 locations in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Europe and the Americas.

For more information, a full list of potential destinations, and detailed guidelines visit our EMEP webpage or email marketengagement@tiq.qld.gov.au.

Applications close at midnight on Wednesday 20 November 2019.

The EMEP is an initiative of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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IMR conquers world markets from Cairns

With a client base spanning 7 countries and a recent win at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards, Cairns mining maintenance company International Mill Relines (IMR) is proof that Queensland’s regional businesses can take on the world and win.

With a client base spanning 7 countries and a recent win at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards, Cairns mining maintenance company International Mill Relines (IMR) is proof that Queensland’s regional businesses can take on the world and win.

IMR specialises in the maintenance of mining mills – critical facilities that grind mineral resources as part of on-site processing.

Established just 5 years ago by Cairns-based mill reline experts Andre Cuthbertson and Jimmy Butler, IMR has gone from strength to strength, and was recently named Queensland’s top exporter for 2019 in the Minerals, Energy and Related Services category.

IMR Operations Manager Sally Costin said the win was both a great surprise and a great affirmation for the company.

‘We’re all shocked to be honest,’ she said.

‘Seeing the quality of the other businesses we were up against – they’re all very, very good at what they do.

‘Being a regional business, we often don’t attract the same attention as businesses in the capital cities, but this is proof that you can be a business in regional Queensland with a global footprint.’

Ms Costin said that IMR was set up to fill a gap in the international market, meeting the critical maintenance needs of small to medium-sized mining businesses.

IMR now does 80% of its work overseas, servicing mines in the Philippines, Mongolia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and Laos.

Ms Costin said Cairns was an ideal base for a mining maintenance company, and technology now made it possible to deliver excellent service to customers around the world.

‘It’s actually cheaper to run our business from a regional location,’ she said.

‘We have an international airport that gives us a global footprint into Asia, Vietnam, PNG, the Philippines and on to Saudi Arabia.

‘And the way it is with ecommerce and new communication technologies, you really can be available to clients 24/7.

‘There’s no barrier now to having a global footprint.’

IMR employs 10 permanent staff in Cairns and 50 to 100 casual employees overseas depending on project needs.

Ms Costin said the company was committed to the highest standards of professionalism and customer service, and the export award was welcome recognition of the IMR team’s efforts.

‘We’ve already had lots of positive feedback about the award locally,’ she said.

‘I think it also paves the way for us to establish ourselves as one of Queensland’s export elite, both across Australia and overseas.’

IMR was one of 16 winners announced at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Gala on 10 October in Brisbane.

The export awards are coordinated by TIQ.

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

See the full gallery of photographs from the Awards Gala.

October 2019

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Export Connections workshops ‘super high-value’

What if you could get a group of bright business minds to focus on solving your most pressing export problem – for free? Well you can, at TIQ’s Export Connections workshops, which include short, sharp brainstorming sessions that ensure every participant goes home with new ideas for tackling their current business challenge.

What if you could get a group of bright business minds to focus on solving your most pressing export problem – for free?

Well you can, at TIQ’s Export Connections workshops, which include short, sharp brainstorming sessions that ensure every participant goes home with new ideas for tackling their current business challenge.

‘Super high-value’ is how one participant described the recent Toowoomba Export Connections workshop.

Katharina von Heusinger, co-owner of The Golden Bone Bakery pet-treat business, said the two-hour workshop was a great chance to get new insights on her own challenges and help other businesspeople.

‘You stand in a group and everybody identifies a business problem they’d like help with, and then you each have 2 minutes to come up with a strategy for that problem,’ she said.

‘Everyone really invests their time, knowledge, expertise and tips into you – it’s super high-value.

‘The quality time you spend with other exporters and the value you get out of it, it’s really worthwhile.’

The Golden Bone Bakery is based at Ipswich and sells pet treats around Australia and in Asian markets.

Also at the workshop was Andrew Waddell, Sales and Marketing Manager for Toowoomba nut grower and processor, Stahmann Farms Enterprises.

A long-established exporter, Stahmann sells pecans and macadamias to North America and South East Asia, with Andrew spending many weeks each year outside Australia on business.

Even as an experienced exporter, he said he found real value in the Export Connections workshop.

‘The collaboration session was really good, it’s a great concept,’ he said

‘You’re in a circle of 9 or 10 people who are all focusing on a particular problem, and I was able to get some new perspectives from other people.

‘I also put a phone number on a post-it note for someone else so they’ve now gone home with a direct contact who can help them.

‘I go to 8 or 10 conferences and events a year and this was one of the best – it was good fun.’

Each Export Connections workshop also includes an expert presentation on an export topic, with the Toowoomba workshop on 18 October focusing on exporting to the growing Indonesian market. It attracted 29 participants, with an earlier Townsville workshop on 15 October attracting 28 people.

Providing training to help Queensland SMEs become export-ready is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

The next free Export Connections workshop will be held in Brisbane on 14 November. It will include another business collaboration session and a presentation by iVolve CEO Kim Parascos, winner of the Tom Burns Award for Women in International Business at this year’s Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards.

Register for the Brisbane Export Connections workshop now.

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Export Market Development Grant closing soon

Queensland SMEs have until early December to apply for an Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) to help cover the cost of promoting their products in export markets.

Queensland SMEs have until early December to apply for an Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) to help cover the cost of promoting their products in export markets.

Run by Austrade, the EMDG program reimburses small and medium-sized Australian businesses with up to 50% of eligible export promotion expenses.

It is open to aspiring and current exporters from a wide range of industries.

Austrade is currently accepting applications for reimbursement of funds spent in the 2018–2019 financial year.

Applicants must:

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

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
  • registration and insurance of eligible intellectual property.

Some expenses and export markets are excluded from the program, and potential applicants should check their 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.

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Queensland has most diverse overseas student mix

New data shows Queensland’s strategy to diversify its international student intake is working, with growing numbers of Latin American students helping Queensland pull ahead of other states in the diversity stakes.

New data shows Queensland’s strategy to diversify its international student intake is working, with growing numbers of Latin American students helping Queensland pull ahead of other states in the diversity stakes.

The three countries sending the most students to Queensland – China, India and Brazil – account for 42% of the state’s international enrolments.

In comparison, New South Wales draws almost 50% of its international intake from its 3 top source markets, while Victoria draws 56% from its 3 top markets.

Researcher Deloitte Access Economics unveiled Queensland’s broadening global appeal, noting that the state’s international education and training export revenue reached $5 billion for the first time in 2018.

Ministerial Champion for International Education Kate Jones said attracting a diversity of students was a key part of building a sustainable sector.

‘We can’t put all our eggs in one basket,’ she said.

‘Today’s data proves that our international education sector is more stable than any other in Australia.

‘This is a testament to the fact that our strategy to diversify our population of international students is working.’

Asia remains the top source of international students for all eastern states, but Latin America is a growing source of student enrolments in Queensland.

Brazilian student numbers in Queensland increased by around 10% from 2017 to 2018, while Colombia jumped to fifth on Queensland’s overseas ladder with an 18% gain in enrolments.

The Deloitte research also found that in the 2018 calendar year:

  • $5.2 billion in export revenue was generated by international education and training – a rise of 16% year-on-year
  • student enrolments increased by 9.6%
  • 1 in 3 international students in Queensland studied outside of Brisbane
  • $98.8 million was generated across the state through visits by students’ friends and relatives.

Ms Jones said the Queensland Government was marketing its educational opportunities to a broad spectrum of students from around the world.

‘Asia will always be important to Queensland’s prosperity but embracing Latin American markets like Brazil and Colombia opens up new economic and cultural opportunities.

‘Engaging more students in more countries limits Queensland’s reliance on any single market, providing a foothold for continued growth and emerging opportunities,’ she said.

International education and training is Queensland’s fastest growing services export, with more than 135,000 international students enrolling in Queensland in 2018 – a record number.

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

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Japan looks to Queensland as drone testbed

Queensland’s wide open skies may create a new outback industry, after a Japanese delegation visited Queensland to learn more about the state’s potential as a drone testing site and to attend the World of Drones Congress (WoDC).

Queensland’s wide open skies may create a new outback industry, after a Japanese delegation visited Queensland to learn more about the state’s potential as a drone testing site and to attend the World of Drones Congress (WoDC).

The delegation of 6 representatives from high-tech companies was invited by TIQ Japan and accompanied by TIQ staff throughout their visit.

The delegation travelled first to the Outback Aerodrone Symposium in Barcaldine from 21 to 23 September.

The annual symposium offers drone demonstrations and presentations, and promotes the skies of western Queensland as an ideal drone-testing environment.

The delegation then moved on to Brisbane to join more than 750 other drone experts and enthusiasts from around the world at the World of Drones Congress from 26 to 27 September.

Now in its third year, the congress explored the latest in drone technology, applications and regulations.

Director of Investment for TIQ Japan Melissa Inooka said the trip showcased Queensland as an ideal testbed for Japan’s drone industry.

‘For example, Sky Perfect JSAT – Asia’s largest satellite company – was impressed with the vast amount of space in our regions,’ Ms Inooka said.

‘It was also impressed with the support and facilitation provided by both TIQ and the Barcaldine Regional Council.

‘We will continue to promote Queensland as the ideal testbed for Japan’s drone industry.’

TIQ Japan organised the delegates’ program and meetings with key local contacts, including:

  • the Civil Aviation Safety Authority
  • the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
  • Logan City Council, which is currently hosting a drone delivery trial.

Queensland is one of the first places in the world to have autonomous drone deliveries, and is also the headquarters for the Cooperative Research Centre for Trusted Autonomous Systems.

Sky Perfect JSAT presented at the Outback Aerodrone Symposium on developments in agriculture-related drone activity.

During its presentation, JSAT said the company was interested in working with Queensland partners to undertake testing and demonstrations in Queensland.

JSAT also attended the World of Drones Congress, as did the delegation from the Japan UAS Industrial Development Association (JUIDA), with JUIDA Executive Director Kakuya Iwata giving a presentation on drone safety.

JUIDA is recognised as a leading industry body in international collaboration for the drone sector.

Also recognised at the congress for international collaboration work on drones was Ms Inooka, who received the International Collaboration – Individual award.

The Outback Aerodrone Symposium is presented by the CWQ Remote Area Planning and Development Board in partnership with the Barcaldine Regional Council.

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

Japanese organisations represented in the drone delegation:

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From home-built joystick to export award success

A Gold Coast innovator has turned his home-built helicopter simulator into an award-winning international business.

A Gold Coast innovator has turned his home-built helicopter simulator into an award-winning international business.

Chris Ryan from Southport business Ryan Aerospace recently accepted the Small Business Award at the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2019 – but the origins of his business were far humbler.

In 2001, Mr Ryan, already the holder of a fixed-wing pilot’s licence, wanted to add helicopter flying to his repertoire.

But as a council employee he couldn’t afford multiple $500 lessons in a real helicopter.

Unable to find an affordable helicopter simulator, he decided to build his own – despite having no technical qualifications.

Attaching a Commodore 64 computer to some PVC tubing and a chair with his self-confessed ‘dodgy welding’, he then plugged in a gaming stick that he’d rewired, and began teaching himself how to fly a helicopter.

By the time he went for his second lesson, Mr Ryan could take off, hover, strafe (fly sideways) and land.

The instructor was so impressed he said Mr Ryan should make a commercial version of his simulator and sell it.

Five years (and many revisions) later, he did – selling his first order to the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF).

Mr Ryan said he didn’t believe it was happening when he got the call from the RAF.

‘I thought it was my brother making a crank call,’ he said.

Mr Ryan continued working on his product, updating his computer-aided design skills and improving his product using an Advance Queensland grant from the Queensland Government.

In 2009 he began showing his simulator at trade shows with the help of Austrade, including one in the USA.

A decade later, he finally received an order from the US Army for 31 simulators, on top of other orders from all over the world.

These export achievements earned him the Small Business Award at this year’s Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards.

Mr Ryan’s advice to other Queensland exporters is to stick with it for the long haul.

‘Persistence is key,’ Mr Ryan said.

‘One significant, high-profile military customer took more than 10 years to convert to an order.

‘You just have to keep on keeping on.’

Ryan Aerospace was 1 of 4 Gold Coast businesses that won their categories at the export awards, with the Coast the strongest regional performer this year.

The four Gold Coast award winners were:

Fostering export growth is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Read the full list of 16 export award winners.