January 2020

More Info +

Smaller cities and social media to drive China’s ecommerce

Queensland exporters hoping to capitalise on China’s huge ecommerce market should consider using social media to target young consumers in smaller cities.

Queensland exporters hoping to capitalise on China’s huge ecommerce market should consider using social media to target young consumers in smaller cities.

That’s the message from Senior Business Development Manager at TIQ Shanghai Ms Li Chen, who attended China’s 8th E-Commerce Annual Conference earlier this month.

‘In 2020, brands expect youth in lower-tier cities to provide the next wave of growth through social commerce purchases as consumption growth slows in major cities,’ Ms Chen said.

‘Social commerce is when consumers make purchases through social media apps like WeChat, which has more than 1 billion users.

‘Purchasing through these apps is transforming ecommerce in China and its influence is expected to expand in 2020.’

China’s ‘lower-tier’ cities represent a major opportunity, with around 70 cities falling into this category (in contrast to the major population centres classified as Tier 1 and Tier 2).

Companies including ecommerce giant JD.com (China’s second-largest B2C online retailer and Alibaba’s major competitor) are now using WeChat Mini Programs for customers to place orders.

By using mini-programs, which are built completely within WeChat, businesses don’t need to create their own standalone app for ecommerce in China.

Ms Chen said the conference also highlighted the rising importance of young consumers.

‘Young consumers are more likely to make purchases using social media apps based on friends’ or key opinion leaders’ recommendations,’ she said.

‘With 5G mobile networks enabling faster live streaming, the importance of user-generated content as an integral part of the online shopping experience will only continue to grow.’

Ecommerce transactions in Shanghai alone reached $694 billion in 2019.

The 8th E-Commerce Annual Conference was held on 7 January at Crown Plaza Shanghai.

China is identified as a major export market in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

TIQ has offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. If you’d like help exporting to China, connect with TIQ China today.

More Info +

Bundaberg Sugar now in Middle East’s LuLu supermarkets

Queensland’s Bundaberg Sugar has secured an exclusive retail partnership with LuLu Hypermarket to stock its products across the Middle East, with support from TIQ.

Queensland’s Bundaberg Sugar has secured an exclusive retail partnership with LuLu Hypermarket to stock its products across the Middle East, with support from TIQ.

LuLu Hypermarket is the first retailer outside of Australia to stock Bundaberg Sugar, with products to be carried in 185 LuLu stores across the Gulf region.

LuLu is the fastest growing retail chain in the Middle East and Asia, serving more than 1.1 million customers daily.

Its partnership with Bundaberg Sugar was launched with a red-carpet in-store event in Abu Dhabi last month, coordinated by TIQ Middle East.

Bundaberg Sugar Group Chief Executive Guy Basile said LuLu’s commitment to the company was exciting.

‘LuLu taking our product on board and the way they launched it was significant in the sense of how they see relationships with direct suppliers of particular premium brands like ours,’ Mr Basile said.

‘We expected the in-store launch event to be a little more low-key, but it was quite the opposite!

‘The event launched Bundaberg Sugar while showcasing LuLu Hypermarket’s entire range of Australian products, which was phenomenal.

‘It has reinforced our strategy to build our brand presence in the region and partnering with a company such as Lulu is vital to achieving this.’

Bundaberg Sugar international representative Dean Nelson said TIQ’s expertise in bringing companies and individuals together was invaluable in securing this retail partnership.

‘Having TIQ on the ground in Abu Dhabi was great as their team were really good at supporting Queensland business by introducing us to fantastic contacts,’ he said.

‘TIQ was instrumental in delivering the in-store launch with LuLu Hypermarket and providing an extremely well-connected guest list – a real who’s who in Abu Dhabi.’

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Middle East Donna Massie said that the Middle East represented a unique export opportunity for Bundaberg Sugar.

‘It’s a market where quality products with a “clean, green” reputation can do particularly well,’ she said.

Mr Nelson agreed.

‘The Middle East has quite a high per capita consumption of sugar and there is a growing identification with Australian products as being the best in the world when it comes to quality, traceability and sustainability,’ Mr Nelson said.

‘Consumers today are becoming more aware of traceability and sustainability, and they want to see brands and corporations having a greater social consciousness.

‘These values are an integral part of Bundaberg Sugar’s offering.

‘A major selling point for Bundaberg Sugar is that we’re a company with a fully-integrated production chain – we grown our own cane, process it and export it ourselves.

‘We plan to take the same approach with our other agricultural products.

‘The Bundaberg Sugar Group is investing heavily in expanding their product range and corporate farm footprint with a recent purchase of macadamia nut farms.’

Mr Nelson said getting Bundaberg Sugar on Middle Eastern supermarket shelves was the first step in the company’s retail export plans.

‘The idea was to firstly launch with our with sugar products and build out our product suite, which now includes macadamias and sweet potatoes, into Middle East and other regions from there,’ he said.

‘We’re looking forward to working with TIQ on further export markets.’

The official launch was held at Lulu’s flagship store in the World Trade Centre in downtown Abu Dhabi on 17 December 2019.

Helping Queensland exporters expand into new markets is a priority under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2020.

If you’d like advice or support to export your product to the Middle East, connect with TIQ’s Middle East office.

More Info +

Social media star and firefighters unite for Taiwan bushfire benefit

Over TWD$1 million was raised in less than 3 hours last week at a special bushfire appeal in Taipei, which brought together supporters ranging from a Taiwanese social media star to local firefighters and a who’s who of Taiwanese business.

Over TWD$1 million was raised in less than 3 hours last week at a special bushfire appeal in Taipei, which brought together supporters ranging from a Taiwanese social media star to local firefighters and a who’s who of Taiwanese business.

Organised by TIQ Taiwan in conjunction with the Australia and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Austrade, the event highlighted the strength of the Queensland-Taiwan connection.

Taiwanese/Australian actress and social media star Hannah Quinlivan, who has family on Queensland’s Gold Coast, promoted the event to her more than 2.3 million social media followers.

Ms Quinlivan is married to Taiwanese pop superstar Jay Chou, with the pair one of the country’s best-known showbusiness couples.

Ms Quinlivan’s social media posts promoting the appeal, which featured video from the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation, received over 350,000 views.

Ms Quinlivan and the Mayor of New Taipei City also signed copies of a calendar featuring Taiwanese and Australian firefighters, which was auctioned at the event.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan Patrick Hafenstein said TIQ was proud to support the appeal, which demonstrated the close bond between Queensland and Taiwan.

‘We were proud to support the event in any way we could,’ he said.

‘That ranged from obtaining the video from the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation for Hannah’s social media posts and sourcing the calendars for auctioning from the Australian Firefighters Calendar company on the Gold Coast, to inviting clients along to the event itself.

‘On the night, we really saw the strength of the personal, community and business relationships between Queensland and Taiwan.

‘We had Taiwanese people in the room who had been to Queensland for work, study or holidays, some for shorter and some for longer periods, but they had all created true lifelong connections.

‘And those connections translated into real generosity.’

Significant donations were received on the night from a range of high-profile Taiwanese businesses, including a number with Queensland connections invited by TIQ.

These included Yuteh Private School (the only Queensland-recognised school in Taiwan), Eslite Hotel (managed by a former Queensland working holidaymaker) and Taishin Bank (which has a branch in Brisbane with major investments in Australia).

All funds raised from the appeal will go to the Red Cross to support recovery efforts for the unprecedented bush fires in Australia.

The event was held at Little Creatures Taipei on 16 January 2020.

TIQ Taiwan is one of TIQ’s 16 international offices promoting Queensland trade and investment in 12 markets around the world.

More Info +

Bundaberg’s Grillex going global with new $3m facility

A new $3 million facility for Bundaberg barbecue manufacturer Grillex will help them expand into additional overseas markets, supported by the Queensland Government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

A new $3 million facility for Bundaberg barbecue manufacturer Grillex will help them expand into additional overseas markets, supported by the Queensland Government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

Grillex (formerly Unisite Group) designs and produces a wide variety of outdoor infrastructure, including electric barbeques, street and park furniture, and shelters.

The company already exports to a number of countries, but is keen to increase production capacity to take on additional markets.

The new facility, to be based at Kensington industrial area near Bundaberg Airport, will include a 2,680 square metre warehouse and office complex, and an assembly line with the latest in manufacturing technologies.

Grillex General Manager Martin Rowland said the company was excited to start a new growth phase after recent work to streamline and futureproof business operations through lean manufacturing principles.

‘We started in the playground equipment industry, but after reaching a leadership position in that space we became proactive with research and development into new product lines, targeting our customer base of local governments, education providers, tourist parks and private enterprises,’ Mr Rowland said.

‘Our current team of 25 staff have worked hard to get us to this point, where in addition to supplying the domestic market we currently export to New Zealand, Fiji and Dubai, and are now looking to expand into European markets.’

TIQ Bundaberg and TIQ’s international team have worked with Grillex over a number of years to explore opportunities in both the UK and USA.

Minister for State Development and Manufacturing Cameron Dick said investment in the new facility would help accelerate the company’s expansion by 2 years, providing further economic stimulation and employment for the Wide Bay region.

‘Grillex is a great local success story: a family-owned business founded in 2006 that has grown to become one of Australia’s leading providers of outdoor community and leisure products,’ Mr Dick said.

‘Fifteen new jobs will be supported through this expansion, including manufacturing and technical jobs on the production line, as well as roles in sales, management and administration.

‘The new site build will commence shortly and is expected to support around 30 local construction jobs over a 12-month period.’

The Queensland Government’s $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund aims to help businesses grow throughout regional Queensland, with applications for funding accepted throughout the year.

Helping regional businesses to succeed in new export markets is a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

For advice and support to export your product, connect with TIQ today.

More Info +

Queensland records decade-high growth in international ed

Queensland’s international education sector posted decade-high growth in 2018–19 to inject $5.38 billion into the state, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows.

Queensland’s international education sector posted decade-high growth in 2018–19 to inject $5.38 billion into the state, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows.

The value of international education and training rose 16% – a post-GFC benchmark for Queensland – in the 12 months to 1 July.

This eclipsed the state’s 8% average yearly increase over the last decade, and was better than both the 15% national increase and the 14% growth recorded by New South Wales, Australia’s largest international education market.

TIQ’s Study Queensland team plays a key role in promoting Queensland’s world-class education and training to potential students around the world.

Ministerial Champion for International Education and Training Kate Jones said the sector was going from strength to strength, delivering benefits to students and communities across Queensland.

‘Queensland is unique – 1 in 3 international students are enrolled outside Brisbane, which is great for communities right throughout our regions,’ she said.

‘Schools, colleges and universities aren’t the only organisations to benefit.

‘When students come to study in Queensland, the flow-on benefits are great.

‘Our strategy to expand this sector, along with global demand for high-quality education, means student numbers will continue to grow in the future.’

Queensland – like other Australian states – draws its highest numbers of international students from China and India, but is also seeing significant growth in emerging markets.

For example, federal Department of Education figures for January–October 2019 show that the number of Colombian students enrolled in Queensland rose to 6,835, up 19% on the same period the previous year, while the number of students from the Philippines more than doubled to 3,826.

‘Queensland’s appeal is far-reaching on the international stage,’ said Ms Jones.

‘We’re aggressively marketing Queensland throughout Asia and the sub-continent to make sure our state is best placed to capitalise on the demand for education.’

International education and training is identified as one of Queensland’s most important services exports in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Study Queensland offers a range of grants and other programs to support, develop and promote Queensland’s international education and training sector.

More Info +

ATMAC grants open for ag exporters

Queensland agricultural exporters and organisations helping to facilitate agricultural exports are invited to apply for grants under the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) Program.

Queensland agricultural exporters and organisations have until 31 January to apply for a grant from the Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) Program.

ATMAC grants are coordinated by the federal Department of Agriculture and support projects that contribute to Australia’s agricultural trade with overseas markets.

The grants range from $20,000 to $400,000.

Projects must open, improve and/or maintain access to overseas markets for Australian agricultural products by building stronger relationships with trading partners, neighbouring countries and international organisations.

Priorities in this round of funding include helping to realise market access opportunities under recently ratified free trade agreements.

To be eligible to apply for an ATMAC grant, you must be a:

  • company
  • incorporated association
  • Indigenous corporation
  • local government
  • corporate state or territory entity
  • non-corporate state or territory entity
  • non-corporate state or territory statutory authority
  • partnership
  • corporate Commonwealth entity
  • non-corporate Commonwealth statutory authority
  • Commonwealth company
  • cooperative
  • international entity
  • sole trader
  • statutory entity
  • trustee on behalf of a trust.

To learn more or to apply, visit the ATMAC homepage. Applications close Friday 31 January.

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

For advice on exporting your agricultural products to overseas markets, connect with TIQ today.

More Info +

Brazilian cows to get earful of Queensland ingenuity

Brazilian cattle will soon be wearing smart ear tags developed by Queensland company Ceres Tag, giving South American farmers the ability to track cows’ movement and health wherever they are.

Brazilian cattle will soon be wearing smart ear tags developed by Queensland company Ceres Tag, giving South American farmers the ability to track cows’ movement and health wherever their herds may roam.

Ceres Tag has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Brazilian company LeBov, which specialises in software that can analyse the information gathered by the ear tags.

The MOU will give Ceres Tag access to Brazil’s livestock herd – one of the largest in the world, with more than 230 million head of cattle spread across the country’s wide-open plains.

The MOU is the result of negotiations over the past year, with TIQ staff in Brisbane and Latin America advising Ceres Tag on Brazil’s business culture, providing language support in market, and introducing the company to local partners.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the MOU was an exciting step forward into an overseas market for Ceres Tag.

‘This is an exciting development for Ceres Tag following the success of a trial in North Queensland,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.

‘Ceres Tag’s technology is a perfect fit for the Brazilian cattle industry because their farmers face the same challenges as Queensland graziers – tracking cattle across such vast areas of land.’

The smart ear tags feature GPS tracking, accelerometers to measure movement (and help determine overall health), temperature monitoring, Bluetooth and radio-frequency identification.

The information from each tag can then be collected, and each cow’s data sent to a central database for analysis.

Farmers can check not only the location and movement of their cattle, but also their health – including when they are ready for breeding. Tagging can also reduce the chance of theft.

The technology is a joint initiative between Ceres Tag, the Queensland Government, James Cook University and the CSIRO.

Ceres Tag signed the MOU with Le Bov in Brazil in late 2019.

TIQ will continue to work with Ceres Tag to help them identify, explore and access new export markets.

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

More Info +

Europe visit a high-energy event for Governor

Hydrogen and other renewable energy sources were high on the Queensland Governor’s agenda during a recent trip to the Netherlands and the UK arranged by TIQ.

Hydrogen and other renewable energy sources were high on the Queensland Governor’s agenda during a recent trip to the Netherlands and the UK arranged by TIQ.

His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland, visited late last year to strengthen Queensland’s strong bilateral ties and promote trade and investment priorities.

The Governor’s first stop was the Netherlands, where he attended a hydrogen roundtable hosted by the Australian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Matthew Neuhaus.

During the roundtable he promoted Queensland’s hydrogen strategy and engaged with representatives from the Office of the Netherlands Hydrogen, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and companies as such Royal Dutch Shell.

Mr de Jersey also visited the European headquarters of Queensland company Tritium, a global leader in fast-charging solutions for electric vehicles and the Premier of Queensland’s Exporter of the Year 2018.

He was given a tour of Tritium’s facilities and charging test bays, and learnt about their 2019 achievements, which include deals to supply:

  • a further 120 Ionity sites with up to 6 of the company’s flagship Veefil high-power chargers per site
  • Drive Energi’s planned 2,500 sites across the UK.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe and Queensland Agent-General in the UK Linda Apelt said the meetings reflected Queensland’s growing focus on renewable energy.

‘Queensland is a world-leading energy supplier, and our work in renewable hydrogen production will help us maintain that lead,’ Ms. Apelt said.

‘Electric vehicles are also a growing trend worldwide.’

Ms Apelt said the Governor also discussed other market opportunities across a range of sectors.

‘We are also exploring opportunities for further trade and investment with the UK in areas such as fintech, green finance, smart cities initiatives, cyber security and impact investment.

‘I’m sure Queensland will be reaping the rewards from the Governor’s visits.’

As Patron of the Queensland Ballet and Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Governor and Mrs de Jersey also attended a ballet recital by Leanne Benjamin AM OBE at Australia House, which was sponsored by Queensland company and 2019 Australian Exporter of the Year Populous, Study Queensland and Australian florist Roses Only.

The event was a celebration of cultural and creative activity, which contributed $111.7 billion to Australia’s economy in 2016–17.

Queensland talent features in some of London’s most renowned arts institutions and venues at the highest levels across various artistic genres. TIQ Europe has helped to promote a number of of Queensland creative organisations, including Erub Arts from the state’s far north, which took its Caught in the Net art exhibition to London’s JGM Gallery in August last year.

Promoting Queensland exports is a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

More Info +

Gut instinct: Microba named in top 25 start-ups

Brisbane-based bioscience company Microba has been recognised as one of the world’s top 25 science-based start-ups by Germany’s Falling Walls Foundation.

Brisbane-based bioscience company Microba has been recognised as one of the world’s top 25 science-based start-ups by Germany’s Falling Walls Foundation.

Microba provides clients with access to cutting-edge technology for gut microbiome analysis.

The accolade came at the Falling Walls conference in Berlin late last year, where Microba pitched its Metagenomic Analysis Platform (MAPTM) to more than 750 industry leaders, decision-makers and media representatives.

Microba CEO Blake Wills said it was an honour to pitch at the event, and to be named among the world’s best science start-ups.

‘Being invited to pitch at the event was certainly a highlight of what’s been a great year for us,’ Mr Wills said.

‘Being recognised as one of the world’s top 25 science start-ups is exceptionally pleasing.

‘It was an excellent opportunity to present to such a highly regarded group.’

Falling Walls is a German-based foundation that gives academics, entrepreneurs and other professionals an opportunity to present their research, business model, innovation or initiative to a distinguished audience from academia and business.

Last year was a big one for Microba, which is a world leader in high-resolution analysis of the gut microbiome.

In March, the company partnered with Korean-based Macrogen to develop new microbiome services in offshore markets and, in October, announced a partnership with US company Psomagen to deliver gut-analysis technology to the US market.

October also saw Microba winning the 2019 Lord Mayor’s Innovation Award and travelling to San Francisco to join the FAST accelerator program at the California Life Sciences Institute, coordinated by TIQ and Life Sciences Queensland.

‘While we’re continuing to make an impact in our global partnerships, Microba is also recognised as the key microbiome company in Australia,’ Mr Wills said.

‘We’ve helped more than 8,000 Australians understand more about their gut microbiome.’

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for North America Viki Forrest said Microba’s recognition at Falling Walls was well deserved.

‘We’ve worked with Microba for a number of years and their innovations are globally significant,’ she said.

‘We supported their entry to the FAST program to help them enter the US market, and we’re already seeing that starting to bear fruit.

‘I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about this Queensland company.’

In January, Microba representatives will return to San Francisco with other Queensland participants to complete the final stage of the FAST program.

They will also attend the BIO International Convention in San Diego in June.

Microba was not the only successful Queenslander at the Berlin Falling Walls event, with University of Queensland researcher Rhys Pirie taking out the top prize of Young Innovator of the Year.

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

More Info +

Happy new year from TIQ

As 2020 dawns, the TIQ team is looking forward to another exciting year of connecting Queensland business to the world, and the world to Queensland.

As 2020 dawns, the TIQ team is looking forward to another exciting year of connecting Queensland business to the world, and the world to Queensland.

A key part of our work is promoting Queensland at trade and investment events at home and overseas. These events are ideal opportunities to showcase Queensland’s world-class products and engage with potential partners from around the world.

Events we’re looking forward to this year include Food and Hotel Asia in Singapore in March; Energy, Mines and Money in Brisbane in June, and the extraordinary Expo 2020 Dubai in October …

TIQ will have a presence at all of these events, and many more.

And, at every one, we’ll be connecting Queensland communities to global opportunities.

To learn more, see our full events calendar and make 2020 the year that you connect with TIQ.