February 2019

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Trade and Investment Strategy achieves major milestones

The Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 has reached major milestones in its first year-and-a-half, with almost 90% of initiatives underway by the end of 2018.

The Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 has reached major milestones in its first year-and-a-half, with almost 90% of initiatives underway by the end of 2018.

Launched in April 2017, the Strategy contains 22 initiatives designed to increase Queensland’s exports and attract new overseas investment.

As at 31 December 2018, 19 of the initiatives had passed the pilot phase or been implemented in full.

Strategy highlights so far include:

TIQ interim Chief Executive Officer Paul Martyn said the $35 million strategy would continue to make strong progress in 2019, with an expanded suite of training for regional businesses, a second round of the Developing Future Leaders program, greater insights for Queensland businesses through further international market reports, and improved digital services for TIQ’s clients.

‘I’m proud of the hard work that has been done so far to deliver on this important whole-of-government strategy to boost Queensland trade and investment outcomes,’ Mr Martyn said.

‘There’s still much work to be done to position Queensland strongly in the global market we’re competing in and take our innovative products and services to the world.’

To stay up to do date with all the Strategy news and stories, visit the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy website.

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Coral Sea institute works on global coeliac project

Clinical trials for global coeliac research will be the first project for a new research institute launched in Mackay.

Clinical trials for global coeliac research will be the first project for a new research institute launched in Mackay.

The Coral Sea Clinical Research Institute will conduct clinical trials for US-based pharmaceutical company ImmusanT, which is leading global trials on new coeliac vaccine Nexvax2.

The institute was officially opened on 1 February by ImmusanT CEO Ms Leslie Williams and Innovation Minister Kate Jones.

Minister Jones said that the Queensland trials could benefit millions of coeliacs, and would position the institute to conduct clinical trials for other international research projects.

‘Until now, the only effective treatment for coeliac disease was eliminating gluten from the diet – and that was never foolproof,’ she said.

‘The trials conducted at this institution will advance medical research and help many people worldwide.

‘The Queensland Government contributed $300,000 in seed funding to help establish this facility, and through this support, Queensland is playing a pivotal role in work that will take us a step closer to an effective treatment for coeliac disease.

‘Mackay will be well placed to join other multi-million-dollar global clinical trial programs.’

Dr James Daveson, a specialist in coeliac disease with clinical practices in Brisbane and Mackay, has been appointed Director of the institute and Principal Investigator for the coeliac trials.

Dr Bob Anderson, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of ImmusanT, who led the development of the vaccine, was also present at the opening of the institute.

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

With TIQ’s support, Queensland biomedical companies pitched to international investors at the BIO International Convention in Boston last year.

Clinical trial services were also a focus of Trade 2018 business showcases coordinated by TIQ and Queensland Health in conjunction with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018.

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International tourism hits record highs in Queensland

Queensland experienced record highs in both international visitor numbers and spending last year, according to recently released tourism data.

Queensland experienced record highs in both international visitor numbers and visitor spending last year, according to recently released tourism data.

The International Tourism Snapshot for the year ending September 2018 reveals that the number of international visitors to Queensland grew 4.6% to a record 2.8 million.

During the same period, spending by international visitors to Queensland rose 11.5% to a record $5.9 billion.

The largest numbers of visitors came from:

  • New Zealand
  • Asia (including China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Japan)
  • North America
  • Europe.

Queensland regions experiencing significant growth in international visitor numbers were:

  • Brisbane (up 9.7%)
  • the Sunshine Coast (up 8.5%)
  • Mackay (up 13.3%).

Across Queensland, the greatest market increases were in:

  • Chinese visitors (up 17.5%)
  • Indonesian visitors (up 15.5%)
  • Indian visitors (up 12.5%)
  • French visitors (up 12.1%).

Chinese visitors were the biggest spenders by a significant margin, injecting $1.4 billion into the Queensland economy, an increase of 33.1% from the previous year.

Big spending increases were also recorded among visitors from Singapore (up 30.8% to $167.6 million) and France (up 19.4% to $101.4 million).

Both New South Wales and Victoria also experienced record highs in international visitation and expenditure, while Tasmania also enjoyed a record high in visitor numbers.

Tourism is identified as Queensland’s highest value services export in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Screen Queensland studio complex opens in Brisbane

A new screen-production facility in the Brisbane suburb of Hemmant is expected to attract film and television productions from around Australia and the world.

A new screen-production facility in the Brisbane suburb of Hemmant is expected to attract film and television productions from around Australia and the world.

The recently opened Screen Queensland facility includes 2 soundstages and 2 warehouses, and will cater to producers of mid- to low-budget films, TV series, commercials, and on-demand videos.

The Hemmant complex will complement Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast, which are used almost exclusively for large-scale blockbusters.

Announcing the opening of the Hemmant facility in late January, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new studios would help to inject more funds into the Queensland economy from Australian and international productions.

‘Last financial year, productions supported by my government generated an estimated $114 million of direct expenditure into the local economy and more than 1,500 jobs directly related to screen production,’ said the Premier.

‘Through our people, incentives, locations, and world-class facilities we have developed a strong international reputation for making world-class screen content, proven most recently with Aquaman grossing over $1 billion at the global box office.’

‘To meet the burgeoning demand from a thriving local and international production base, the new Brisbane studios operated by Screen Queensland will help with supply of soundstages and warehouses for set construction workshops, art department and short-term storage.’

The Queensland Government invested $12 million to repurpose 5 former warehouses on the Hemmant site to create the new studio facility, which is only 15km from Brisbane’s CBD.

As well as the soundstages and warehouses, the Gosport Street complex includes a production office, mixed-used building and parking for 200 vehicles.

Recent international projects filmed in Queensland include Paramount’s live-action Dora the Explorer, which completed filming at Village Roadshow Studios in late 2018.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Entertainment’s Godzilla vs. Kong and ABC Studios International TV series Reef Break are currently filming on the Gold Coast.

Attracting international investment to Queensland is one of the key goals of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Future Leaders grants now open for SMEs

Queensland SMEs can now apply for overseas placements to help them build their international networks and knowledge under the 2019 Developing Future Leaders program.

Queensland SMEs can now apply for overseas placements to help them build their international presence under the 2019 Developing Future Leaders program.

The program offers short placements in TIQ’s overseas offices to enable staff from small to medium enterprises to learn new skills, build new partnerships and become familiar with an international market.

Successful applicants spend the equivalent of 2 weeks in the relevant market and can receive up to $7,000 in funding to help cover travel costs and living expenses.

Senior staff from Inkerman Cane Growers Association in Home Hill spent time in Japan as part of the 2018 Future Leaders Program.

Inkerman Project Manager Stewart Peters said taking part in the program had been beneficial on many levels.

‘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 Peters said.

‘Understanding the importance of relationships in Japanese business culture is vital, so we were very grateful for the opportunity to have discussions with decision-makers in key companies while in Japan.

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

Mr Peters said spending time in a market had real advantages over communicating remotely.

‘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.

‘It creates jobs in our community and will save jobs in older coal-fired power stations in Japan by converting them at low cost to green energy.

‘Also, being able travel to Japan also demonstrates the seriousness of our key stakeholders to potential Japanese investors and partners.’

The 2019 Developing Future Leaders program will offer Queensland SMEs a total of 3 overseas placements, with 1 participant each in TIQ’s India, Indonesia and Singapore offices.

For more details, read the Future Leaders guidelines.

Applications close midnight Monday 4 March.

The Developing Future Leaders program also offers overseas placements for Queensland graduates, with 4 graduates travelling overseas in 2018 and another round expected to be announced later this year.

Developing Future Leaders is a key initiative of the Queensland Government’s Advancing Trade and Investment – Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

January 2019

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Queensland Aquaculture Development Areas announced

Six land-based Aquaculture Development Areas (ADAs) have been created in Central and North Queensland, with the goal of encouraging responsible aquaculture development while minimising environmental impacts.

Six land-based Aquaculture Development Areas (ADAs) have been created in Central and North Queensland, with the goal of encouraging responsible aquaculture development while minimising environmental impacts.

Queensland’s aquaculture industry produces high-quality seafood for export, and is also attracting interest from overseas investors.

Announcing the ADAs on 30 January, Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said interested investors and local councils would now be able to easily identify suitable potential locations for projects.

‘The Queensland Government supports the future development and growth of an ecologically sustainable, diverse and innovative aquaculture industry,’ Mr Furner said.

‘Our proximity to Asian markets, reputation for quality seafood and increased demand for Australian native fish species means Queensland is well positioned to produce high-value aquaculture products.

‘The sites were identified in consultation with industry, government and affected landholders and would have the least environmental impact and land-use constraints for operating an aquaculture business.’

Mr Furner said the ADAs focused on coastal areas suitable for cultivating a range of marine species in ponds that have access to seawater.

‘Species suitable for land-based marine aquaculture could include prawns and marine fin fish such as the iconic Queensland barramundi or cobia,’ he said.

The ADAs have been established in the Townsville, Whitsunday, Mackay, Rockhampton and Gladstone local government areas.

Full details of the ADA locations are available on the Business Queensland website.

In 2016–17, aquaculture was a $120 million industry, employing more than 530 Queenslanders full-time.

A 2018 mission to Singapore late last year promoted aquaculture opportunities in the Rockhampton region to potential investors.

Aquaculture is identified as one of Queensland’s growing food and agribusiness export industries in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Chinese visitors see ‘NewDirection’ in aged care

Representatives from the Chinese Consulate in Brisbane recently visited an innovative Queensland aged-care ‘microtown’ that may also be adaptable to the Chinese market.

Representatives from the Chinese Consulate in Brisbane recently visited an innovative Queensland aged-care ‘microtown’ that may also be adaptable to the Chinese market.

The NewDirection aged-care community at Bellmere near Caboolture welcomed the 3 consular representatives during a visit organised by TIQ in late December 2018.

NewDirection describes itself as the world’s first residential aged-care microtown community, offering greater freedom of movement, independence and choice to older people with complex care needs or dementia.

Instead of receiving care on a ward, NewDirection residents live in 7-bedroom homes with 6 other residents and have ‘House Companions’ who provide relationship-based support and care.

Attending from the consulate were Deputy Consul-General Ms Li Zhou, Chief Consul (Commerce) Mr Yuqiang Lan, and Consul (Commerce) Mr Yangchun Cheng, accompanied by Young-Mi Kim from TIQ’s Brisbane office.

China is increasingly looking to import expertise in the aged-care sector as it faces the challenge of caring for millions of older people amid major changes to traditional family structures and living arrangements.

Queensland businesses are well placed to offer aged-care expertise and TIQ has been working with a range of Queensland aged-care operators to help them enter the Chinese market.

Most recently, the Australian Silver Industry Group, a consortium of Queensland aged-care service providers, visited Hong Kong, Beijing and Guangzhou in November 2018 to explore business opportunities.

The consortium was brought together by TIQ in early 2018 as an initiative of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

TIQ and Chinese Consulate representatives at NewDirection

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Industry innovators hard at work on international ed

Two employability experts are working with Queensland’s international ed community after being appointed as the 2017–18 Study Queensland Industry Innovators in Residence (IIR).

Two employability experts are working with Queensland’s international ed community after being appointed as the 2017–18 Study Queensland Industry Innovators in Residence (IIR).

The IIR program funds innovators to spend 1 to 6 months working with TIQ’s Study Queensland team to contribute innovative ideas or address policy challenges to support Queensland’s international education and training sector.

This year’s innovators are Mr Beau Leese and Ms Nannette Ripmeester.

Sydney-based Mr Leese is the co-CEO of an experiential learning technology company that helps people build real-world skills for future jobs.

Ms Ripmeester is Director of Netherlands’ company Expertise in Labour Mobility, and is collaborating with Mr Leese on a project to create new employability programs for international students in Queensland.

The pair are also collaborating with staff from Study Queensland and project co-sponsor Study Gold Coast, which is holding an employability symposium on the Gold Coast on 15 February.

So far Mr Leese and Ms Ripmeester have conducted a range of consultation workshops and have been working with the team at Study Queensland and Study Gold Coast to draft an employability strategy for Queensland.

The IIR program is now in its second year and attracted applications from more than 30 high-quality innovators from multiple countries.

Innovators selected for the program spend significant time working with stakeholders in Queensland on projects that deliver the objectives of the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

International education and training is worth around $4.7 billion to the Queensland economy and is identified as Queensland’s second-largest services export in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Business Growth grants available now

Queensland SMEs looking to expand and employ more staff are being invited to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to help grow their businesses.

Queensland SMEs looking to expand their business and employ more staff are being invited to 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 specialised equipment or services to help them seize growth 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.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said that the grants could be used for services such as advice and mentoring as well as equipment.

‘The Business Growth Fund will provide targeted assistance so that businesses can purchase specialised equipment or access professional advice to help their business grow,’ she said.

‘We want more businesses to expand sustainably with expert advice and support, to provide Queenslanders with strong stable jobs.

‘This is a huge opportunity for Queensland businesses looking to take their business to the next level of growth, with more than $2 million in funding available.’

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

Applicants will go through a 2-stage assessment process, including a Shark Tank–style pitch during which they’ll have to 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 now open and will continue to be accepted until all money in the fund has been allocated.

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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Manufacturing hubs for Cairns, Townsville and Rocky

Three new manufacturing hubs to support regional business growth are scheduled to open this year in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton, with a total of $30 million in funding from the Queensland Government.

Three new manufacturing hubs to support regional business growth are scheduled to open this year in Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton, with a total of $30 million in funding from the Queensland Government.

The hubs will help local manufacturers grow and become more productive by providing expert advice and support as well as skills development and training.

The hubs will focus on key manufacturing sectors in each region:

  • marine, aviation and food manufacturing industries in Cairns
  • food transformation advanced manufacturing and advanced metal production manufacturing through Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things in Townsville
  • rail manufacturing and technology, advanced technologies for metal production and food product innovation in Rockhampton.

Announcing the next steps in the hubs’ development, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said they would help Queensland’s regional manufacturers become more globally competitive.

‘These hubs will provide a catalyst to promote and deliver world-leading technologies, processes and practices to manufacturers in these regions and attract increased private-sector investment and jobs to Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton,’ he said.

‘They will also ensure the manufacturing sector in each region continues to thrive well into the future, underpinned by the skilled workforce and networks needed to strengthen and evolve to meet market and industry demands.’

Mr Dick said through the hubs, regional manufacturers would have easy access to business-development programs, skills and training, and equipment.

‘Each hub will develop strong links with local universities and schools to develop a workforce with strong skills in science, technology, engineering and maths,’ he said.

‘My department has consulted with local businesses, local governments, unions and educational institutions to develop the best model for capitalising on regional strengths in each city.’

Each manufacturing hub will be staffed by a hub coordinator, a skills development and training officer and a project support officer.

The hubs are scheduled to open in the early part of this year and recruitment is underway for hub staff.

You can read more about the new hubs on the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Planning website.

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