June 2020

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Register now to go online in China

As COVID-19 highlights the importance of ecommerce worldwide, now is the time for Queensland SMEs to apply to TIQ’s Digital Commerce Accelerator Program and get a springboard into the lucrative Chinese ecommerce market.

As COVID-19 restrictions boost online sales worldwide, now is the time for Queensland SMEs to register for TIQ’s Digital Commerce Accelerator Program and get a springboard into the lucrative Chinese ecommerce market.

You have until 30 June to register your interest in the program, which includes:

  • a market analysis for your product category in the Chinese market
  • a market entry strategy
  • for selected participants, the opportunity to launch into China.

The program is open to companies selling:

  • packaged and processed foods and beverages
  • health and wellbeing products
  • skincare and cosmetics.

Products must be:

  • compliant with parcel postage laws from Australia to China
  • not fresh, frozen or bulk-sized products
  • manufactured in Queensland or by a brand owned by a Queensland registered business.

To manage the program, TIQ has engaged RedFern Digital, a China-specific, full-service agency that helps brands navigate the digital ecosystem, increase brand awareness and convert that awareness into sales. RedFern will work closely with each program participant to develop a tailored ecommerce strategy for the Chinese market.

Visit the Digital Commerce Accelerator Program webpage to learn more about eligibility requirements, read company case studies, and find out how to register your interest.

Registrations close midday Tuesday 30 June.

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

You can learn more about the support available to exporters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on our TIQ industry recovery package page.

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LiteracyPlanet helps homeschool the world

Queensland edtech company LiteracyPlanet has seen a 55% increase in user numbers worldwide as parents and schools in many countries look for ways to help kids learn at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Queensland edtech company LiteracyPlanet has seen a 55% increase in user numbers worldwide as parents and schools in many countries look for ways to help kids learn at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Gold Coast company is also supporting hundreds of K-12 schools around the world with free access to the LiteracyPlanet platform while they weather the difficulties of COVID-19.

LiteracyPlanet’s online platform guides students’ literacy learning through interactive activities and games that can be accessed via PCs and tablets, with teachers able to monitor and assign work to meet the needs of each child.

LiteracyPlanet Founder and Director Shane Davis said the COVID-19 pandemic had pushed edtech into the spotlight.

‘As an industry, K-12 education is yet to fully embrace digital technology as a mainstream resource for teachers, and the environment we now find ourselves in has provided a stimulus that’s driving schools to look for remote learning solutions,’ Mr Davis said.

‘This pandemic has been a bit of a wakeup call to administrators and governments about the advantages of edtech, especially in helping teachers and parents maintain education and learning outcomes while learning at home.

‘We’ve seen our user requests per hour go up significantly – from about 1 million per hour in our last highest period, to around 2 million.’

Mr Davis said COVID-19 had placed great stress on schools, and his company was pleased to offer free access to LiteracyPlanet in support of them until a level of normality returns.

‘The school system in Australia stayed partially open, so the administration functions were still active although 80-90% of kids were at home,’ he said.

‘But internationally, many schools completely closed and the international schools we work with in Asia and the Middle East sent staff back to their home countries, while budgets were also frozen.

‘We’re really proud of being able to help out and it’s rewarding to be making a positive impact during these times especially.’

LiteracyPlanet’s Global Marketing Manager Samantha Poblete said edtech could help to take some of the pressure off parents trying to take on the role of teacher at home.

‘Parents need to take the pressure off themselves as much as their children during and look for engaging educational programs that are easy to use and motivational for kids.

‘It absolutely does help to have something that children want to do and that the parent can also be involved in without having to stress about their own knowledge and ability to teach their child.’

LiteracyPlanet has staff in the UK, Canada and the USA, and employs more than 20 staff at its Varsity Lakes headquarters on the Gold Coast.

Its online platform has been specifically aligned to match the different curriculums in over 50 countries where it operates.

TIQ has worked with LiteracyPlanet in the UK and other markets to help expand their export footprint.

Education and digital services are both identified as export priorities in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Cleantech donates to Lombardy’s COVID-19 cause

A Queensland company has donated one of its state-of-the-art UV disinfecting devices to a medical supply centre in Lombardy, Italy, to help on the COVID-19 frontline.

In the lead-up to Queensland Day on 6 June, we’re saying ‘thanks’ to Queensland’s world-class exporters. #thanksQLD

A Queensland company has donated one of its state-of-the-art UV disinfecting devices to a medical supply centre in Lombardy, Italy, to help on the COVID-19 frontline.

Gold Coast medtech company Cleantech UV International donated one of its innovative remUVe™ – MK-2 devices to Italy after witnessing the devastation the COVID-19 pandemic was causing there.

Valued at USD$4,940, the portable device disinfects surfaces by using a 10-second blast of UVC, short-wavelength ultraviolet light, to kill microorganisms, including viruses, without the use of chemicals or water.

It can be used in hospitals, medical clinics and aged-care facilities, by first responders such as police and ambulance officers, and at quarantine and border-control facilities and other public gathering points.

Cleantech was put in touch with the Italian facility by staff from TIQ’s London office, who worked with Austrade and the office of the Australian Ambassador to Italy to arrange logistics for the donation.

Queensland Agent-General and Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe Linda Apelt said Cleantech UV International’s donation epitomised the Queensland spirit.

‘Cleantech’s generous donation is another wonderful example of Queenslanders reaching out across borders to help those most in need,’ Ms Apelt said.

‘TIQ is proud to have been able to help open doors to ensure this donation made it safely to Italy where it will be used to help the residents of Lombardy in their fight against COVID-19.’

Cleantech UV International Innovations and Business Director Ben Cane said the company was humbled to be able to help during this devastating pandemic.

‘We were watching the news and hearing about supply difficulties for disinfectant and PPE, and we thought our machine could really help with this,’ he said.

‘The WHO keeps advising that multiple levels of disinfection should be used in order to tackle coronavirus.

‘With our device, you can have someone going around 24 hours a day disinfecting a wide range of surfaces in hospitals and other facilities while patients and doctors are still in the rooms.

‘The more layers of disinfection you have and the more you do it, the better results you will get.

‘Our device isn’t to be used instead of other disinfecting practices or products, it’s to be used in addition to those.’

Cleantech UV Founder and Managing Director Lee Kelman said while COVID-19 had thrust Cleantech’s product into the spotlight, their long-term plans would remain focused on the fight against antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-acquired infections.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has driven people to recognise the need for additional disinfection options,’ he said.

‘Using UVC to disinfect surfaces is relatively new technology but UVC has been used to kill pathogens during water treatment for a while now.

‘It’s up to us to get that message out there so we can help tackle hospital infections.

‘The microorganisms responsible for these kinds of infections are the Trojan horse of the health system and globally, we’ve not yet fully realised their cost to governments and hospitals.’

Designed in Queensland in 2012, the Cleantech UV disinfection device is used in hotels in Australia, with the company more recently starting to target aged-care and healthcare facilities here.

The company employs 4 staff at its Varsity Lakes headquarters, with manufacturing taking place across Queensland and Melbourne facilities.

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

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Local appetite for rice feeds Suncoast’s Belladotti

Unprecedented local demand for rice has seen Sunshine Coast food exporter Belladotti add domestic shoppers to their target market during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unprecedented local demand for rice has seen Sunshine Coast food exporter Belladotti increase their focus on the domestic market during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coolum manufacturer’s Pre Mix Risotto products have been flying off the shelves at Queensland supermarkets since COVID-19 disrupted international supply chains for rice.

The company is hopeful the dramatic rise in sales will see its products spread from Queensland stores to supermarkets nationwide.

Belladotti co-owner and co-founder Marco Guidotti said it had been a case of ‘right time, right place’ for his company.

‘It’s been strong domestic demand for rice, which sold out, that’s driven our growth – the shelves were empty at Woolworths and Coles and we picked up the slack of all that,’ Mr Guidotti said.

‘Our hand-made small-batch Pre Mix Risotto is our flagship product and we can’t keep up with demand, which is a testament to its quality and our ability to bring speciality products to the market at “big factory” low prices.’

Belladotti employs 8 staff at its Coolum Beach factory on the Sunshine Coast, where it makes and packs all its products using local suppliers where possible.

The company has added 2 casual staff to help keep up with demand, rolling out 3,000–4,000 units of products per production run.

Belladotti exports its gourmet convenience products to a number of countries across the Asia-Pacific region, including New Zealand.

As well as looking at local expansion, the company is still working with TIQ to pursue new international deals, despite the disruptions caused by COVID-19.

‘TIQ put us onto opportunities in Singapore and the UAE,’ Mr Guidotti said.

‘In Singapore, we’ve sent a mixed pallet order to a new client and in the UAE we’re currently in discussion with Aussie Multibrands, who supply over 100 Australian brands into retail markets in the region.’

Principal Trade and Investment Officer for TIQ Sunshine Coast Ross Tilly said Belladotti’s ability to ramp up operations to meet domestic demand while exploring international markets was impressive.

‘Seeing products made on the Sunshine Coast being embraced by global consumers is fantastic,’ Mr Tilly said.

‘Hopefully Belladotti’s efforts will inspire our local producers during these difficult times.

‘TIQ is committed to looking after regional businesses and to helping them navigate the business impacts of the pandemic.’

Mr Guidotti said the surge in domestic demand had not been limited to the company’s risotto.

‘Out of our 27 products, which also include Salad Toppers and gluten-free pasta, sales for half are up, and we’re on track for 20% growth this year,’ he said.

‘We’ve now had a strong positive response coming from our supermarket partner at Woolworths … and we’re hoping our products might get rolled out Australia-wide.

‘My wife and I started Belladotti with a view to supplying a few local stores on the Sunshine Coast, and now we’re supplying well over 1,000 stores across 5 countries.

‘Our staff are like a family, so I’m thrilled that we’ve managed to keep people employed and families going during this time.’

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

You can learn more about the support available to exporters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on our TIQ industry recovery package page.

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VALD Health: remote rehab during COVID-19

In-home sessions with online health professionals are booming during COVID-19, with clinicians in 94 countries signing up to a new platform created by Brisbane company VALD Health.

In the lead-up to Queensland Day on 6 June, we’re saying ‘thanks’ to Queensland’s world-class exporters. #thanksQLD

In-home sessions with online health professionals are booming during COVID-19, with clinicians in 94 countries signing up to a new platform created by Brisbane company VALD Health.

Sign-ups to VALD’s free TeleHab platform have increased 16-fold since March to total more than 6,000, with the platform now used in countries including the USA, UK, India, Portugal and Belgium.

Launched in March, TeleHab is a free platform for the allied health industry that allows remote exercise prescription and videoconferencing.

VALD Health CEO Laurie Malone said it was important to provide innovative solutions to allied health professionals during the COVID-19 crisis.

‘We are thrilled to provide a product for prescribing and managing exercise programs remotely,’ Mr Malone said.

‘Extensive research and development have gone into building TeleHab and we’re excited to see an overwhelmingly positive response from physiotherapists and exercise physiologists who are signing up to the platform.’

TeleHab helps allied health professionals have complete visibility of their patient’s rehabilitation experience.

It enables clinicians to prescribe exercises using a library of clinically approved how-to videos created in Brisbane.

Patients use their phones to record themselves performing these exercises and clinicians manage their rehabilitation journey by reviewing the patient’s videos.

Currently 70% of TeleHab’s users are based overseas.

Mr Malone said the company had deliberately chosen to make the platform free.

‘Exercise is free, therefore the ability to prescribe exercise should also be free,” he said.

‘Our new platform also provides VALD Health with a great opportunity to grow our brand awareness in the allied health market.’

TIQ has worked with VALD for a number of years to help them in overseas markets.

TIQ Acting CEO Richard Watson said seeing locally developed medtech delivering practical solutions to emerging challenges was very encouraging.

‘It’s great to see an industry leader like VALD Health sharing their expertise so that patients can continue to be treated safely and effectively even if they can’t see their therapist in person,’ Mr Watson said.

‘TIQ has been supporting VALD Health for a number of years on their export journey as a world-class, globally recognised leader in sports technology, and it’s exciting to see them now grow into delivering medtech solutions.’

VALD Health employs 45 staff at its Brisbane headquarters where the TeleHab platform was developed, and has offices in the UK and the USA.

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

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Demand for ModnPods up during COVID-19 lockdown

A skilled migrant to Queensland has found an unexpected boost to his eco-home business, experiencing an upsurge in enquiries since the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown.

In the lead-up to Queensland Day on 6 June, we’re saying ‘thanks’ to Queensland’s world-class exporters. #thanksQLD

A skilled migrant to Queensland has found an unexpected boost to his eco-home business, experiencing an upsurge in enquiries since the onset of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Gold Coast business ModnPods manufactures high-quality, affordable prefab eco-homes, which it sells to consumers in Australia and overseas.

Managing Director John Christie, a skilled migrant from the USA, said COVID-19 had prompted a surge in interest from homeowners wanting to provide affordable spaces for returning family members, and from those considering adding accommodation to create new income streams.

‘Backyard modular pods are much more efficient because they are far less costly than adding onto a home,’ Mr Christie said.

‘The combination of COVID-19 and the recent bushfires has seen our enquiries increase by around 40% over the past year, which is translating into higher demand for pods.

‘Our factory can produce up to 15 to 20 pods per month, and we will be looking at expanding if demand continues to increase.

‘We’re pleased to be able to help people find affordable, quality housing at a challenging time.’

ModnPods sources more than 95% of its pod products from Australian manufacturers, and is committed to using building materials that are both environmentally friendly and healthy for pod occupants.

Mr Christie has a unique migration story, having served as a helicopter search-and-rescue swimmer in the US Navy for 6 years before coming to Queensland to study for his MBA at Bond University Gold Coast in 2014.

He brought the same passion and drive to his business studies that he had shown in his navy career, developing the concept for ModnPods while still a student.

‘The market needed a solution for affordable eco-homes,’ Mr Christie said.

‘At first, ModnPods was just an idea, but shortly after I graduated from Bond University in 2016 it became a reality, and we built our first pod.

‘To date, we have developed multiple pods ranging from container offices to prefab granny flats.’

In 2019, Mr Christie received his permanent residency after being nominated as a skilled migrant by TIQ’s team at Business and Skilled Migration Queensland.

In the same year, he forged a partnership with Ben Sinclair from fellow Gold Coast business Base Haus, a commercial building company specialising in Greenstar, Well and Passive House construction. Together, they are working on delivering healthier, more energy-efficient, affordable spaces.

Mr Christie said the market was rapidly expanding for prefabricated housing that was not only affordable but also ticked all the boxes for quality, beauty and sustainability.

‘The focus in 2020 is now on residential, high-end, affordable prefab modular units – whether it’s one unit for a home, multi-units for a caravan park, or a tiny home development,’ he said.

ModnPods manufactures its pods at its Arundel factory, where it employs around 20 staff in a variety of permanent and casual roles.

Attracting the best business and skilled migrants to Queensland is another way TIQ is helping to build the Queensland economy and grow jobs and prosperity.

For more information on Queensland’s business and skilled migration program, contact BSMQ.

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Queensland’s GO1 delivers iso-learning to the world

Logan e-learning company GO1 has been helping businesses around the world survive and thrive during the COVID-19 crisis, with user numbers for their online learning platform tripling since the pandemic began.

In the lead-up to Queensland Day on 6 June, we’re saying ‘thanks’ to Queensland’s world-class exporters. #thanksQLD

Logan e-learning company GO1 has been helping businesses around the world survive and thrive during the COVID-19 crisis, with user numbers for their online learning platform tripling since the pandemic began.

GO1 has also offered some of its online learning courses for free to businesses experiencing major impacts.

Businesses ranging from small operators to major corporations have sought out GO1’s training content to help employees learn during lockdown and cope with the impacts of COVID-19.

The company’s online platform contains more than 70,000 professional and personal development courses, with topics such as working from home, mental health care and digital security all trending since the pandemic began.

GO1 co-founder and Head of Growth Vu Tran said supporting businesses to adapt to the current crisis was important.

‘We believe that helping employers and their teams maintain productivity through learning during these times is going to accelerate the world’s recovery from this crisis,’ Mr Tran said.

‘Regardless of what industry you are in or what country you are from, everyone’s got a need for learning right now.

‘For example, we’re currently supporting staff from both Australia’s major airlines who have been stood down, by providing opportunities for free professional development training.

‘At the same time, we’ve also seen a big demand globally for our services due to the trend of “iso-learning”, where people who still have a job are looking for productive things to do during lockdown.’

TIQ Acting CEO Richard Watson applauded GO1’s efforts to support businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘GO1’s ability to offer learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic will help businesses in Queensland and around the world come out of this crisis in better shape,’ Mr Watson said.

‘It also makes business sense in terms of spreading the word about what GO1 has to offer not just now but also once the pandemic is over.

‘TIQ is proud to have been assisting GO1 throughout its journey – from a start-up that was just beginning to consider exporting to a world-leader in online learning platforms.’

Mr Tran said demand for GO1’s products had been strong internationally.

‘We’re seeing usage grow in countries where, once people have started to adjust to lockdown measures, there’s a desire to keep upskilling and learning,’ he said.

‘For example, thanks to an introduction through TIQ ASEAN, we launched a program with Singapore’s National Trades Union Congress that saw over 60,000 Singaporean workers sign up in the first 3 weeks.

‘And Italy — which has never been in our top 10 markets — jumped into our top 4 during March and April when they started entering stricter lockdowns.’

Mr Tran said GO1 employs just under 100 staff at its Underwood headquarters.

‘Our centre of gravity is here in Queensland – our founding team are Queenslanders – and it’s where we make the decisions that help drive our 10 international offices.

‘We’re a high-growth company and we hope we can contribute to Queensland’s recovery once this crisis is over by continuing to grow and hire more staff.

‘At the same time, we’ll remain committed to a global presence.

‘We’re the “Netflix of learning”, and if we can make a difference and help companies and their employees, we will.’

Mr Tran said that GO1 had also improved the working-from-home experience by working with Microsoft to integrate the GO1 app with Microsoft Teams.

In other big news for the company, GO1 announced it had raised over US$40 million in a Series C funding on 19 May.

If your business would like to discuss learning opportunities with GO1, please visit their website.

Start-ups and digital products are identified as one of Queensland’s emerging export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

May 2020

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TIQ helps LTR keep medical supplies flowing

TIQ staff in Brisbane and Singapore sprang into action recently to help client LTR Medical keep their supply chain open so they could deliver critical medical devices to hospitals battling COVID-19.

TIQ staff in Brisbane and Singapore sprang into action recently to help client LTR Medical keep their supply chain open so they could deliver critical medical devices to hospitals battling COVID-19.

Brisbane-based LTR supplies a range of medical devices and technology to healthcare providers in Australia and New Zealand, including Springfusor pumps and V-set connectors that are used in delivering intravenous drugs.

With the shutdown of many businesses worldwide due to COVID-19, LTR’s Singapore component supplier faced production difficulties and was unable to manufacture parts essential for the Springfusor and V-set devices as well as other LTR products.

LTR CEO Lee Rodne quickly realised that the company might be left unable to supply Australian and New Zealand hospitals with products used in treating COVID-19.

With just weeks of supply left and contracts coming in steadily, he sent an urgent email to TIQ.

‘We’ve previously worked with the TIQ team in Brisbane to help us build our overseas markets and contacts,’ Mr Rodne said.

‘When we realised the urgency of the situation, I reached out to our contact at TIQ Brisbane and asked if they could help.

‘It was very impressive – she responded immediately and liaised with TIQ’s ASEAN team, who contacted the relevant Singapore Government department to explain the situation.

‘Within 3 days, the Singapore Government had helped to resolve some supply-chain issues and our manufacturer was back at full capacity to supply us and all the other medical companies that depend on them.

‘We’re extremely grateful.’

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for ASEAN Tom Calder said TIQ was pleased to go the extra mile to support LTR and healthcare providers at such a critical time.

‘We realised the importance and urgency of the situation and acted accordingly,’ he said.

‘It’s a great example of how TIQ teams can work together across vast distances to open doors to decision-makers when it matters.

‘It’s those person-to-person connections and the professional networks that deliver both for Queensland exporters and the community as a whole.

’It’s also a testament to our supportive partners within the Singapore Government and their willingness to take action at a time of global need.’

LTR is continuing to provide much-needed medical devices and technology to healthcare providers across Australia and New Zealand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company employs 5 staff in Queensland, who coordinate the supply of products to around 250 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand.

Medical technology and advanced manufacturing are identified as one of Queensland’s emerging export strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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IFAM flight puts Cairns seafood back in HK

Fresh Queensland coral trout was among the seafood flown out of Cairns recently on the first Brisbane–Cairns–Hong Kong flight under a program that aims to get Australian exporters affected by COVID-19 back into priority markets.

Fresh Queensland coral trout was among the seafood flown out of Cairns recently on the first Brisbane–Cairns–Hong Kong flight under the Australian Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM).

IFAM is helping to restore air-freight supply chains disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and has established a network of 9 airlines and 6 freight forwarders to accelerate agricultural and fisheries exports into priority markets.

TIQ client the Australian Reef Fish Trading Company was one of the exporters who gained access to the first flight on 7 May, sending a shipment of premium coral trout to Hong Kong.

CEO Barry Dun said the freight flights would help keep local businesses operating.

‘The additional capacity allows us to meet the improving demand for our premium seafood,’ he said.

‘That in turn allows us to keep fishing businesses operating.

‘We’re delighted that our requests for additional capacity have been heard and acted upon.

‘We’ll be doing everything we can to maximise our use of the freight service.’

TIQ has worked with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Austrade to champion the need for Cairns suppliers and producers to be included in the Brisbane-Cairns–Hong Kong flights, which will occur weekly for 6 weeks.

Up to 20 tonnes of freight is expected to be shipped each flight, including 12 tonnes from Cairns, providing a much-needed economic boost for the city’s seafood industry.

Any Queensland seafood or agricultural exporters interested in accessing IFAM flights should register their interest and speak to their local TIQ office.

You can learn more about the support available to exporters affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on our TIQ industry recovery package page.

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TIQ named in best IPAs

TIQ has been named one of the Asia Pacific’s best investment promotion agencies (IPAs) in Site Selection magazine’s 2020 rankings.

TIQ has been named one of the Asia-Pacific’s best investment promotion agencies (IPAs) in Site Selection magazine’s 2020 rankings.

Every May, as part of the magazine’s Global Best to Invest Report, proprietary rankings are produced recognising agencies that the market deems best in class.

The awards are voted on by 1,000 investment-attraction experts from around the world, along with corporate decision-makers and consultants.

Award criteria include:

  • most professionally responsive to inquiries
  • staff possessing the best knowledge and language diversity
  • offering access to user-friendly databases of sites and incentives
  • readily available information on timing expectations of permitting and other processes
  • access to recent investors in the region who can vouch for the area and agency
  • best reputation for protecting investor confidentiality
  • reputation for after-care services
  • website information and design.

TIQ’s Investment Attraction Unit works to connect the most exciting Queensland projects with potential investors from around the world. We’re pleased to be recognised in the rankings – and proud to help create jobs and prosperity in Queensland by promoting the state’s investment opportunities.

Attracting foreign direct investment to Queensland is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Contact us to find out more about our investment services.