August 2019

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Business Growth Grants – apply now for September

TIQ clients looking to expand their business and employ more staff can apply for grants of up to $50,000 from the Queensland Government’s Business Growth Fund.

TIQ clients looking to expand their business and employ more staff can apply for grants of up to $50,000 from the Queensland Government’s Business Growth Fund.

The fund helps small to medium-sized businesses buy and implement equipment or services to help them seize growth opportunities – including export opportunities.

Businesses need to demonstrate how a grant would help them move to the next stage of growth, and successful applicants must contribute 25%–50% of the total project cost.

The next round of grant applications will be assessed in September 2019.

Grants can be used for services such as advice and mentoring as well as equipment.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman encouraged Queensland SMEs to apply.

‘Our Business Growth Fund targets small and medium sized businesses who are already established and looking to take their businesses to the next level with funding of up to $50,000,’ she said.

Past recipients of grants include Brisbane’s Revival Art and Design Gallery, which used their grant to engage a business consultant to improve sales and profitability.

Cairns-based 3D printing company Trinity Engineering and Consulting also received a grant, which they will use to purchase a larger scale industrial 3D printer so they can engage in larger projects.

The Business Growth Fund is open to Queensland businesses with fewer than 50 employees and a minimum turnover of $500,000.

Applicants go through a 2-stage assessment process, including a Shark Tank–style pitch during which they put their plans to a panel of business experts.

Growth opportunities can include expanding into overseas markets through ecommerce or other export activities.

Applications are accepted throughout the year, with regular assessment. The next assessment is scheduled for 16 September.

For more information, see the Business Growth Fund Guidelines and application form.

The Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 includes a number of initiatives to support the state’s small to medium-sized enterprises.

If you’re a Queensland business interested in exporting your products, connect with TIQ to find out about the full range of services available to SMEs.

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Queensland Cup sends young education ambassadors to China

Eight Queensland school students have honed their Chinese language skills and promoted Queensland education overseas after winning a language competition supported by TIQ’s Study Queensland team.

Eight Queensland school students have honed their Chinese language skills and promoted Queensland education overseas after winning a language competition supported by TIQ’s Study Queensland team.

The Queensland Cup language competition is an initiative to strengthen Queensland-China education networks and showcase Queensland’s educational strengths.

In previous years, the competition has selected outstanding English-language students from China to travel to Queensland.

This year, to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Queensland’s sister-state relationship with Shanghai, it was the turn of Queensland students to compete for a 10-day study tour of China.

Study Queensland Executive Director Shannon Willoughby said more than 400 students had entered the 2019 Queensland Cup, with 8 winners travelling to China in July.

‘More than 56 schools across Queensland entered students in the competition, with our final winners drawn from Brisbane, Cairns and Gold Coast schools,’ she said.

‘These outstanding students travelled to Shanghai and Beijing to learn firsthand about China’s language, history, geography and culture.

‘As well as participating in intensive language training and visits to cultural sites, they also made formal presentations at functions and receptions, including at the Australian Embassy and Confucius Institute headquarters in Beijing.’

Ms Willoughby said the students, drawn from years 5 to 12, had been excellent education ambassadors for Queensland.

‘Our winners were living examples of what you can achieve with a high-quality Queensland education,’ she said.

‘They were great ambassadors for their families, schools, communities and Queensland.

‘Their Chinese hosts were amazed at their talents and it was a perfect way to celebrate 30 years of friendship between Queensland and Shanghai.’

The Queensland Cup Chinese language competition and winners’ tour were convened by the Confucius Institute at QUT in conjunction with the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Queensland.

Confucius Institute Director Antoine Barnaart thanked Study Queensland for supporting the Queensland Cup study tour of China.

‘A Study Queensland grant from the IET Partnership Fund made the tour possible,’ he said.

‘I’d also like to acknowledge the logistical support provided by the China offices of Study Queensland, the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission and the International Education Association of Shanghai.’

China is Queensland’s largest source of international students, with almost 31,000 student enrolments in Queensland from China in 2018.

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

If you’re interested in marketing your education product in the Chinese market, connect with TIQ today.

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Wing drone delivery to take flight in Queensland

Queensland will become one of the first places in the world to have autonomous drone deliveries when global tech giant Alphabet introduces its Wing service to Logan later this year.

Queensland will become one of the first places in the world to have autonomous drone deliveries when global tech giant Alphabet introduces its Wing service to Logan later this year.

It’s the latest initiative to position Queensland as a global leader in drone technology, with TIQ also supporting a number of drone export and investment opportunities.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones announced in late July that Wing would launch in Logan later this year, after 80,000 test flights around the world, including initial test flights in rural Queensland in 2014.

Deliveries of items up to 1.5kg are expected to be made in Logan in the second half of 2019.

Ms Jones said the new service would create local jobs for drone pilots and help to position Queensland as a leader in the global drone industry.

‘We’re working with the world leaders in drone technology to create jobs for Queenslanders,’ she said.

‘That’s why we’re partnering with Wing today to make sure that we lead the way when it comes to capitalising on the opportunities provided by technological advancements in drone technology.

‘Already we have some of the world leaders in drone tech and we’re investing more in this space than any other government in the country.’

Ms Jones said the government’s Queensland Drones Strategy was an Australian first.

‘We are already leading the way in drone technology across a number of industries, including defence, agriculture, mining and manufacturing,’ she said.

‘Wing has the potential to shift the gear again in the use of drone technology for transportation by increasing access to goods, easing traffic congestion and helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.’

The Minister met with Wing to explore Queensland opportunities during a trade mission to the USA in June.

Wing’s Australian Head of Operations Terrance Bouldin-Johnson said the company was excited about its expansion into Queensland.

‘We’re pleased to be expanding our Australian operations and launching the first air delivery service in South East Queensland,’ he said.

‘Queensland has staked out a leadership position in the advancement of drone technology and some of the most significant drone developments in the world are happening here.

‘Wing allows customers to order a range of items such as fresh bread, hot coffee or food items on our mobile app, and have them delivered directly to their homes by drone in minutes.’

Queensland is home to the annual World of Drones Congress, with this year’s gathering to be held in Brisbane in September.

The state also hosts Outback Aerodrone, which showcases western Queensland as an ideal environment for drone testing.

And, in 2017, the Australian Government announced Brisbane as the location for a $50 million drone research centre, the Cooperative Research Centre for Trusted Autonomous Systems.

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

July 2019

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New Queensland trade commissioner for Hong Kong

TIQ has welcomed Ms Julia Herries as the new Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Hong Kong.

Julia HerriesTIQ has welcomed Ms Julia Herries as the new Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Hong Kong.

Ms Herries joins 11 other trade and investment commissioners employed by TIQ, who promote Queensland exports and investment in 16 offices around the world.

Ms Herries is a respected businesswoman with extensive experience in international education and foreign investment, and has lived and worked in Hong Kong for the past decade.

She was previously Director of Executive Education for the University of Chicago in Hong Kong and has held senior investment-promotion roles with the Royal Bank of Scotland and Invest Hong Kong.

Ms Herries also holds a Master’s of Arts in East Asian Studies and speaks Mandarin.

Announcing the appointment, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Ms Herries would lead TIQ’s Hong Kong office across a range of priority sectors.

‘Ms Herries is well placed to represent Queensland interests in promoting trade and investment across all industries and has an extensive knowledge of the Greater Bay Area, including Southern China,’ Ms Palaszczuk said.

‘She is a strategic thinker who will lead our Hong Kong team in promoting Queensland exports and building the state’s investment profile there.

‘She will have a particular focus on growth sectors such as aged care, where Queensland offers world-class innovation – and on consolidating our traditional export strengths in products such as processed and fresh foods.’

Queensland’s merchandise exports to Hong Kong totalled $380.1 million in 2017–18, and there were 72,317 Hong Kong visitors to Queensland over the same period.

There were 3,323 international student enrolments to Queensland from Hong Kong in 2018.

Promoting Queensland globally is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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RED grants to help ag businesses get export-ready

As champions of Queensland’s agricultural exporters, TIQ is encouraging eligible producers to apply for a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant worth up to $250,000.

As a champion of Queensland’s agricultural exporters, TIQ is encouraging eligible producers to apply for a Rural Economic Development (RED) Grant worth up to $250,000.

RED grants are for projects that generate economic and employment opportunities related to primary production in Queensland’s rural and remote communities.

The grants can be used for a wide range of purposes, including:

  • helping primary producers to prepare for export or become investment-ready
  • developing new markets for value-added products
  • implementing new technologies (including agritech) to enhance productivity.

Grants of up to $250,000 are available for projects that can contribute at least 50% of the necessary funding and will help generate jobs and significant economic benefit for rural communities.

This is the second round of RED grants, which were launched last year.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the 2018 grants had supported businesses across Queensland, including producers from the Maranoa, Lockyer Valley, Central Highlands, Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast, Mareeba, Balonne, North Burnett, Western Downs and Southern Downs regions.

‘We’ve seen some exciting projects that will greatly benefit and value add to the agricultural supply chains in regional areas, which will not only increase agriculture production but are expected to create up to 600 new jobs in the sector,’ he said.

Interested applicants must submit an expression of interest (EOI) for a 2019 RED grant by 6 September.

EOIs will then be assessed, and shortlisted applicants invited to submit a full application.

Please check the list of eligibility requirements for applicants and projects before submitting an EOI.

The Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 commits the Queensland Government to boosting export- and investment-readiness among small to medium-sized businesses, especially those in the state’s regional areas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘This is still new for everybody.

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

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

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

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

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Queensland spearheads aged-care revolution in China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Members of the Australian Silver Industry Group are:

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JCU exports ‘Blue Economy’ skills to Middle East

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Grants to promote your products overseas

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

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

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

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

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

Applicants must:

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

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

Eligible expenses include the costs of:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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BSMQ makes finals of Multicultural Queensland Awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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