October 2018

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Gladstone abattoir receives DA approval

A $308 million energy-efficient abattoir proposed for Gladstone has received development approval from the Queensland Coordinator-General.

A $308 million abattoir proposed for Gladstone has received development approval from the Queensland Coordinator-General.

The abattoir, a project of Asia Pacific Agri-Corp, would comprise a beef processing, packing and export facility.

It would also incorporate innovative energy-efficiency features.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said renewables would play a key role in powering the new facility, proposed to be built in the Gladstone State Development Area.

‘Once fully operational this cutting-edge facility will be capable of processing 2,400 head of cattle per day ready to cater for growing demand for Australian beef,’ he said.

‘The development approval also provides for 95 hectares of solar panels, capable of generating 78MW of electricity or almost one-third of the site’s total electricity needs.

‘A further energy-efficiency measure includes the development of an on-site 33MW hydrogen plant to service the abattoir’s boiler.’

The Coordinator-General conducted community consultation on the proposed facility earlier this year, and has placed 29 conditions on the project to reduce any impacts from emissions such as noise, dust and odour.

Some secondary approvals are required for the project to commence, including approval for operational works from Gladstone Regional Council and permits from the Department of Environment and Science for meat-processing and irrigation activities on site.

Asia Pacific Agri-Corp will next undertake detailed design.

Construction is expected to commence around May 2019 subject to the necessary approvals being received, with the facility anticipated to be operational by 2021.

The government estimates that the project would create 305 construction jobs and 335 operational jobs.

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

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From Kenya to Queensland – a skilled migration story

Queensland may be a long way from Kenya, but skilled migrant Beverly Wambui Kabuya Muito says there’s a ‘golden strand’ that links her work in a Sunshine Coast pharmacy to her professional life back in Nairobi.

Queensland may be a long way from Kenya, but skilled migrant Beverly Wambui Kabuya Muito says there’s a ‘golden strand’ that links her work in a Sunshine Coast pharmacy to her professional life back in Nairobi.

Beverly emigrated to Queensland in 2015 with the support of TIQ’s Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) team.

She says the move, with daughter Kuni, was prompted by a desire for a better life.

‘It really comes down to pursuing better opportunities for myself and my daughter, and exploring the options available to me as a professional,’ she says.

‘It is said that the world is your oyster, and my parents always told us that education is your foot in the door – it is the key. So I guess I just wanted to put that to the test!’

Beverly was a pharmacist at a large government psychiatric hospital in Nairobi and now works in a retail pharmacy on the Sunshine Coast.

She says that while some things are different here, other important factors are the same.

‘The most notable difference is the resources available – or, actually, the lack of resources in Kenya – for promoting healthy communities, and the difficulties local communities faced in accessing the services and medications they required,’ she says.

‘The golden strand that links both working environments is maximising the resources one has, and doing the best you can to not only provide medication to the community but to empower and educate people to be responsible for their own health, and better understand the health issues facing them, or their loved ones.’

Beverly says her move to Australia has been challenging but rewarding, and encourages others considering skilled migration to persist if they are confident that Queensland is for them.

‘The biggest challenge has been being a solo parent and not having the family support system,’ she says.

‘But, at the same time, the biggest success has been how well we have settled in and feel at home here.

‘We have begun to find our place and voice in the community and we have grown.

‘My advice is not to give up. It is worth it in the end!’

To read more of Beverly and Kuni’s story, see our full interview with Beverly on Medium.

For advice on business and skilled migration to Queensland, contact BSMQ.

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Rural grants to help ag businesses get export-ready

Rural primary producers who would like to start or increase export activities, or attract investment, can apply for up to $250,000 from the Queensland Government’s new Rural Economic Development Grants (REDG).

Rural primary producers who would like to start or increase export activities, or attract investment, can apply for up to $250,000 from the Queensland Government’s new Rural Economic Development Grants (REDG).

The new grants have been introduced to fund economic development projects that contribute to primary production and job creation in Queensland’s rural communities.

A wide range of projects are eligible to apply, including agricultural initiatives that:

  • innovate to increase productivity
  • develop new markets for value-added products
  • work to achieve economies of scale
  • enable businesses to become export- or investment-ready.

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

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Mark Furner said a two-stage application process would apply.

‘Interested applicants are encouraged to submit an expression of interest detailing the development idea/plan by 26 October 2018 to be eligible to apply for a grant,’ Mr Furner said.

‘The Queensland Rural Industry Development Authority will review these applications and will then invite successful applicants to submit a formal application against key criteria.’

Applicants must be primary producers based in rural Queensland who employ fewer than 200 full-time staff.

Expressions of interest close on Friday 26 October. Potential applicants should read the grant guidelines before submitting an expression of interest.

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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Queensland–Brazil MOU on research, higher ed

Queensland–Brazil partnerships in higher education and research will grow, following the signing of an agreement between the Queensland Government and the Brazil National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

TIQ in Brazil

Participants in the Queensland university delegation to Brazil in March this year.

Queensland–Brazil partnerships in higher education and research will grow, following the signing of an agreement between the Queensland Government and the Brazil National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

President of CNPq Mario Neto Borges said the new memorandum of understanding (MOU) created a strategic partnership between Brazil and Queensland.

‘Brazil and Australia face similar problems in terms of environment, food production and renewables,’ Mr Borges said.

‘It is important that we do what we can to promote research partnerships in these and other areas.’

TIQ CEO Virginia Greville said the new MOU would increase Brazil–Queensland academic and research exchanges in important areas of mutual interest.

‘The MOU is the result of growing interest from both sides to increase academic and research exchanges in areas such as water and environment science, agriculture and renewable energy,’ she said.

‘Queensland already attracts a significant number of Brazilian students to study English; however we also want to promote our strengths in higher education and research.

‘Under the MOU, CNPq and TIQ (through Study Queensland) have committed to a joint academic research workshop that will further facilitate research linkages between Queensland and Brazilian universities.’

The MOU builds on the Brazilian government’s new Program for Internationalisation of Brazilian Higher Education and Research Institutions (PRiNT), which aims to boost research capacity in Brazilian universities through international partnerships.

It was announced at the annual Latin American Colloquium run by the University of Queensland on 4 September.

As part of this event, TIQ hosted a Queensland Government briefing, which was attended by 13 Latin American ambassadors.

Queensland is the second most popular Australian destination for Brazilian students, with more than 11,200 enrolments last year, a 35% increase in 12 months.

Study Queensland’s growing relationship with Brazil is part of its Global Partnership Plan, one of three key initiatives in the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2016.

TIQ Latin America also led a Queensland universities mission to Brazil  to Brazil in March this year, to begin the process of exploring research partnership opportunities.

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Alipay opens doors to Chinese tourism

Far North Queensland tourism operators got together recently to hear more about the potential and practicalities of adopting one of China’s largest online payment systems.

Far North Queensland (FNQ) tourism operators got together recently to hear more about the potential and practicalities of adopting one of China’s largest online payment systems.

Around 70 accommodation providers, tour operators and other businesses attended the ‘Doing Business with Alibaba’ workshop in Cairns in late August, where they were briefed by speakers from Alibaba Group, the world’s largest online and mobile ecommerce company.

A key topic was the use of Alibaba’s Alipay, a PayPal-like system used by millions of Chinese people for cashless transactions using Chinese currency around the world.

Principal Trade and Investment Officer for FNQ Trent Scott said many local tourism operators were already using Alipay, but there was still great potential for adoption and promotion.

‘We already have more than 100 registered Alipay businesses in the Cairns/Far North Queensland region, but there’s potential for many more to get involved,’ he said.

‘Having a system like Alipay in place makes it easier and more inviting for Chinese visitors to spend their tourism dollars with Queensland businesses.

‘This workshop was an opportunity for businesses to really understand the technology involved, and to ask questions about practical issues such as integration with other accounting systems, how to promote Alipay access to Chinese visitors, and how the system can work in regional areas where wi-fi performance may be slow.’

Mr Scott said the Alipay speakers also learned a lot from the session, and indicated they were keen to visit Cairns again to show businesses how Alipay services and campaigns could be used to attract consumers.

As well as discussing Alipay, the Alibaba speakers outlined opportunities to sell to Chinese consumers through Alibaba’s Tmall Global online retail shopfronts.

The workshop was held in Cairns on Friday 24 August, and was hosted by Cairns Regional Council with support from TIQ, Tourism Tropical North Queensland and Alibaba Group.

Participants also heard a presentation from Incentiapay, an Asia-Pacific payment-solutions company that can help Australian businesses adopt Alipay.

TIQ ran an earlier series of ecommerce workshops with Alibaba last year in other Queensland regions.

Providing ecommerce training for SMEs is one of 22 initiatives outlined in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Queensland and Nevada combine on water solutions

Queensland and the US state of Nevada might seem like unlikely collaborators, but with similar dry climates and a strong interest in water management, the two are working together to help future-proof their urban water-supply systems.

Queensland and the US state of Nevada might seem like unlikely collaborators, but the two are working together to future-proof their urban water-supply systems.

With similar dry climates and strong interest and expertise in water management, the two states have a surprising amount in common.

Queensland and Nevada became sister states in February this year, when Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signed a memorandum of understanding with the Governor of Nevada, The Honourable Brian Sandoval.

Governor Sandoval was in Brisbane in late August to finalise a partnership between Queensland Urban Utilities and the Nevada-based company WaterStart.

His visit also coincided with a joint water-innovation workshop attended by some of Queensland’s best water-tech businesses.

Minister for Natural Resources Anthony Lynham said the workshop was about partnering internationally to ensure both governments could continue to supply water for the future.

‘This partnership between Queensland Urban Utilities and WaterStart is about creating more success stories,’ he said.

‘[It] puts water supply experts and technology company representatives from Queensland and Nevada in the same room to share ideas, build relationships and create connections.

‘The WaterStart partnership will help to speed up the innovation cycle, assist our water utilities to drive efficiencies and better manage risk while providing an opportunity for Queensland’s innovative companies to take our practical management solutions to the world.’

Also attending the workshop were Anthony Christensen and Antonio Lovisi from TIQ’s Brisbane-based Mining and Resources team, which helped to recruit the Queensland water-tech experts who attended the workshop.

TIQ was also involved in developing an earlier agreement with Nevada that included cooperation on water management, and TIQ staff contributed to the development of the sister-state agreement.

For information about the water partnership, or for advice on exporting your water-tech product into other markets, contact TIQ’s Mining and Resources team.

Increasing Queensland exports is one of the targets of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

September 2018

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Grants for collaboration on SME exports

Queensland business groups and government agencies can apply for grants of up to $1.5 million to facilitate SME export opportunities under the Australian Government’s new Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs funding program.

Queensland business groups and government agencies can apply for grants of up to $1.5 million to facilitate SME export opportunities under the Australian Government’s new Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs funding program.

The program will provide grants to help industry bodies, government agencies and regional development committees establish and operate SME ‘export hubs’ (collaborative groups) across Australia.

The export hubs must support SMEs in one of the following priority sectors:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • cyber security
  • food and agribusiness
  • medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
  • mining equipment, technology and services
  • oil, gas and energy resources.

These sectors align with 6 Growth Centres that are currently being funded by the Australian Government to drive national innovation, productivity and competitiveness.

The export hubs will be expected to collaborate with the relevant Growth Centre to support local SME development.

Grant amounts will range from $150,000 to $1.5 million. To be eligible, applicants must:

  • have an ABN
  • be an incorporated not-for-profit group, a local or state government body, or a Regional Development Australia committee
  • be able to provide at least 50% of the project cost themselves.

Export hubs can support SMEs of all kinds, including regional, remote and Indigenous businesses.

Expressions of interest (EOIs) for the grants close 5pm Monday 15 October.

Applicants shortlisted as a result of their EOI will then be invited to submit a full application.

For more information on funding programs available to support Queensland exporters, connect with TIQ.

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New Queensland trade commissioner in Jakarta

TIQ continues to build Queensland’s business presence in Indonesia, with a new trade and investment commissioner starting work last month and an expanded TIQ Jakarta team moving to larger premises.

Jakarta office teamTIQ continues to build Queensland’s business presence in Indonesia, with a new trade and investment commissioner starting work last month and an expanded TIQ Jakarta team moving to larger premises.

The new premises in Jakarta’s CBD include better facilities for Queensland businesses visiting Indonesia, and more room for additional TIQ staff members who will promote Queensland in this key export market.

New Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Indonesia Ben Giles said that strengthening TIQ’s presence in Jakarta was a strategic move with real economic potential for Queensland.

‘The Indonesian economy is actually the largest of the ASEAN economies, with annual growth of 5–6%,’ he said.

‘It’s a market of 260 million people with a booming middle class, right on Queensland’s doorstep.

‘Indonesia is also home to some very successful businesses looking to expand their global investments, and there’s definitely the potential to connect them to suitable Queensland enterprises.

‘TIQ’s new office is a key part of building a higher profile for Queensland here so that we can take advantage of these emerging opportunities.’

Before joining TIQ, Mr Giles was a Senior Adviser and Trade Commissioner for Austrade for more than a decade.

He said Queensland businesses should consider Indonesia’s long-term economic potential, and its role as a gateway to the larger ASEAN market.

‘Indonesia is predicted to be one of the world’s top 10 economies by 2030, so now is an ideal time to enter the market and start building your business presence with long-term goals in mind,’ he said.

‘The recently signed economic agreement between Australia and Indonesia will reduce export tariffs and paperwork for Queensland businesses wanting to export here.

‘It’s also worth thinking more broadly than just Indonesia, and considering whether you’d like to develop an export plan that takes in more of the ASEAN region.

TIQ Indonesia can support you in that process, as can TIQ Singapore, who work with us to provide integrated coverage across South East Asia.’

Mr Giles said sectors with the greatest growth potential in Indonesia included education and training, food and agribusiness, and technology and innovation.

He invited Queensland business representatives with an interest in Indonesia or plans to visit the market to contact the TIQ team in Queensland or Indonesia for local advice and support.

Strengthening TIQ’s presence in Jakarta is one of 22 initiatives in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Mr Giles can be contacted at:

AIA Central, 23rd Floor
Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 48A
Jakarta 12930
Indonesia
+62 (21) 3111 6133
ben.giles@tiq.qld.gov.au

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State’s export values rise by 11.5% in 2017–18

Recently released figures show that the value of Queensland’s goods exports rose 11.5% last financial year, with stronger global economic conditions and rising resources prices major factors in the state’s export success.

Recently released figures show that the value of Queensland’s goods exports rose 11.5% last financial year, with stronger global economic conditions and rising resources prices major factors in the state’s export success.

Final ABS figures for the year ending June 2018 value Queensland goods exports at $74.1 billion, a record 12-month total and 11.5% higher than last financial year.

TIQ economist Simon Fischer said coal and other resources continued to play a major part in Queensland’s export success, with agricultural exports also important.

‘Coal exports were worth more than $40 billion to the state in 2017–18, with both demand and prices rising,’ Mr Fischer said.

‘Stronger global economic conditions have boosted industrial production across Queensland’s major trading partners, lifting demand and prices not just for coal but also for LNG and other key minerals.

‘At the same time, our agricultural exports remain strong, with beef, crop and cotton exports worth $9.5 billion.’

Mr Fischer said that Asia, including India, remained Queensland’s main export market, with some smaller South East Asian nations growing in importance.

‘Exports to China, Japan, India and Taiwan were again the largest contributors to our export growth in 2017–18, accounting for 63% of Queensland’s export value, up from 60% last year,’ he said.

‘And Queensland goods exports to South East Asia grew by $574.8 million (up 16.1%), driven by exports of minerals, meat, chemicals and industrial machinery.

‘We also saw some changes in that ASEAN region, with Indonesia rising one place to be our tenth-largest goods export market, Malaysia rising four places to be eleventh, and the Philippines up four places to twenty-sixth.’

The new figures rank Queensland as Australia’s second-largest goods exporter by value behind Western Australia ($129.7 billion), and comparable to the combined total of New South Wales and Victoria ($74.4 million).

Increasing Queensland’s share of national overseas exports is one of two key targets identified in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Digital grants for small business closing on 8 October

The Small Business Digital Grants Program provides grants from $1,000 to $10,000 to help small businesses use digital initiatives to work smarter, engage with the global economy and make the most of online business opportunities.

Queensland small businesses have until Monday 8 October to apply for a digital business grant to buy hardware or software or get expert help to improve their online performance.

The Small Business Digital Grants Program provides grants from $1,000 to $10,000 to help small businesses use digital initiatives to work smarter, engage with the global economy and make the most of online business opportunities.

To be eligible, a business must have fewer than 20 employees, have Queensland headquarters, and have had a turnover of $2 million or less in the last financial year.

They must also be able to:

  • match their grant funding with an equal amount from their own resources, and
  • pay for the approved products and services in full before being reimbursed for the grant amount.

Applications must explain how a grant will be used to enhance digital capabilities, help a business be more competitive, and enable it to employ more staff.

More details are available in the application guidelines.

Applications close 5pm Monday 8 October.

The Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 recognises the increasing importance of digital disruption and ecommerce to global trade and investment.

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