July 2018

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UK award recognises TIQ's Trade 2018 work

TIQ has received the Outstanding Government Agency Award from Major Events International for its work on the Trade 2018 program held in conjunction with GC2018.

MEI Awards

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe Linda Apelt accepts the award at MEI’s Major Events Summit.

TIQ has received a UK award for its work on the Trade 2018 program carried out in conjunction with this year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

UK sports business firm Major Events International (MEI) recognised TIQ’s Trade 2018 work with the Outstanding Government Agency Award at a ceremony in Liverpool recently.

Trade 2018 was a program of events leading up to and during the Commonwealth Games that was designed to strengthen Queensland’s trade ties with Commonwealth nations and boost the state’s global business profile.

TIQ CEO Virginia Greville said that MEI had sent a delegation to the Trade 2018 Major Events Forum, providing an ideal opportunity for delegates to network and see a major sports event in action.

‘TIQ’s team in London and our people on the ground in Queensland worked closely with MEI and its delegates to make sure they got full value from their trip,’ Ms Greville said.

‘The MEI delegates had an opportunity to engage with visiting international delegations active in Asia and the wider major events market, and connect with local companies and fellow mission delegates with a view to long-term collaboration on regional major events.

‘It is always more beneficial to see these events in action to better understand the latest and best practice for major sports events delivery – and it also gave MEI a chance to assess Gold Coast capabilities for future events.’

MEI delegates also met local companies at business-matching events.

TIQ’s Europe office previously supported MEI missions to the Gold Coast in 2015 and 2017, when delegates visited Commonwealth Games venues and participated in major-events workshops.

Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe Linda Apelt accepted the award on TIQ’s behalf at MEI’s Major Events Summit 2018 in Liverpool on 27 June.

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

 

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LGAQ Future Cities Summit 2018

Smart cities’ initiatives were on show at the Future Cities, Smart Communities Summit hosted by the Local Government Association of Queensland in Cairns earlier this month.

Smart cities’ initiatives were on show at the Future Cities, Smart Communities Summit hosted by the Local Government Association of Queensland in Cairns earlier this month.

The summit brought together all levels of government with businesses specialising in urban design and technologies to discuss new responses to managing urban communities.

Clinton de Bruyn, Director of TIQ’s Trade and Investment Strategy Implementation Team, said the summit was a good opportunity for TIQ staff to connect with local government representatives.

‘Our goals in attending the summit were twofold,’ he said.

‘First, staff from TIQ’s Urban Infrastructure and Knowledge Industries team were there promoting some of Queensland’s leading smart cities providers.

‘Second, it was an ideal opportunity to engage with our local government stakeholders and continue the discussion about rolling out the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy in regional communities across the state.’

In February, the LGAQ and Queensland Government signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on trade and investment initiatives.

One of the key regional initiatives under the Strategy, the MOU includes actions to improve local councils’ capabilities, and a stronger role for councils in coordinating international missions with TIQ’s overseas offices.

The Cairns summit spent time exploring what it means to be a smart city and smart community, and what Australia’s cities and communities need to do to ensure the health and wellbeing of residents into the future.

Presentations included futurist and digital tech expert Chris Riddell discussing what it means to be a smart city; director of Place Design Group Chris Isles on the future of Queensland’s cities; and Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Stephen Baxter on public policy responses to disruptive thinking.

The Future Cities Summit ran from 11 to 13 July at the Cairns Convention Centre.

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Happy Snack seals Sainsbury’s deal in UK

English shoppers will be able to buy healthier snacks with the news that pulse-based munchies from Queensland’s Happy Snack Company are now stocked in leading UK supermarket Sainsbury’s.

The Happy Snack Company's wide rangeEnglish shoppers will be able to buy healthier snacks with the news that pulse-based munchies from Queensland’s Happy Snack Company are now stocked in leading UK supermarket Sainsbury’s.

Landsborough-based Happy Snack manufactures innovative, healthy snacks for children and adults, using chickpeas and fava beans grown and processed in Queensland.

Happy Snack CEO Craig Agnew said that the company’s roasted chickpeas and fava beans were very different from other snacks available in the UK market.

‘Most children’s snacks in the UK are fruit-based and contain quite a lot of sugar, while other traditional savoury snacks tend to be high in fat and salt,’ he said.

‘Our products are genuinely healthy – low in sugar, high in protein, and free from all 14 major allergens.

‘Our company’s goal is to deliver healthy foods for UK families that taste great and are fun to eat.

‘There’s nothing similar in the UK market, and that is a really strong selling point.’

Mr Agnew said the company had spent two years planning its entry into the UK market, and the meticulous approach had paid off.

‘We put a lot of time and thought into pricing, which needed to be right for retail while still factoring in all the necessary tariffs and supermarket margins,’ he said.

‘We also did a lot of work on logistics to get our supply chain just right, identifying a freight company that had a presence in both Australia and the UK.

‘Last but not least, we established a presence on the ground in the UK to promote our products and liaise directly with potential buyers.

‘And it’s all paid off – it’s very exciting to now have fantastic shelf space in one of the UK’s most iconic supermarket chains.’

Happy Snack began operations in 1992 and built a new Queensland facility in 2015 to cope with growth and ensure all products are allergen-free.

The Sainsbury’s deal will see the Happy Snack Kid’s Lunchbox range on show in over 350 Sainsbury stores across the UK by the end of this month.

TIQ’s London office is working with Happy Snack to promote Australian food products and to support the company’s local marketing team.

Supporting Queensland companies to increase exports is one of the key priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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Queensland joins below50 biofuels campaign

Queensland has officially joined the global below50 campaign to support the production and use of sustainable biofuels, which are an emerging export strength for the state.

Queensland has officially joined the global below50 campaign to support the production and use of sustainable biofuels, which are an emerging export strength for the state.

below50 is an initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which aims to grow the global market for sustainable fuels and achieve a carbon-neutral transport sector.

In Australia, the regional hub for below50 is hosted by the Queensland Renewable Fuels Association.

Speaking at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Philadelphia this week, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said Queensland was the first jurisdiction in the world to commit to sustainable fuel policies.

‘This government is firmly on board with below50’s push for the uptake of fuels that are at least 50% less carbon-intensive over their lifecycle when compared to conventional fossil fuels,’ he said.

‘I am delighted to be able to sign the statement of collaboration with below50 Australia on the world stage at the BIO World Congress, in a clear demonstration of Queensland’s leadership in growing an advanced bio-economy.’

The statement of collaboration will allow the Queensland Government to draw on the expertise of Australia’s below50 global community, which includes investors, businesses, biofuel producers and users, and government agencies.

Joining below50 is the latest biofuels initiative for the government, which released the Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan in 2016.

The document outlines steps to develop a thriving industrial biotechnology and bioproducts sector, including the production of sustainable biofuels.

Biofutures are also identified as an emerging export industry in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Biofuel projects currently underway in Queensland include clean hydrogen research at QUT, a Virgin Airlines biojet fuel trial at Brisbane Airport, and the production of bio crude oil at Gladstone’s Northern Oil Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant.

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Asian Market Forum talks trends at JCU

More than 130 people headed to Townsville last week for the Asian Market Forum at James Cook University (JCU), including a large contingent from overseas and interstate.

Roger with Ken and Joe

TIQ Trade and Investment Officer Roger Kaus with investor rep Ken Yap and JCU’s Professor (Joe) Zhangyue Zhou at the forum.

More than 130 people headed to Townsville last week for the Asian Market Forum at James Cook University (JCU), including a large contingent from overseas and interstate.

Forum-goers included a delegation from China’s Nanjing Agricultural University, attending alongside researchers, businesspeople and potential investors from Melbourne, Sydney and centres across Queensland.

They heard from a range of expert speakers who discussed current trends in the Asian economy, with a focus on trends in China – Australia’s largest trading partner.

Key points to emerge from forum presentations included:

  • Chinese investment in Queensland resources projects has slowed in recent years but may rebound, and interest in renewables is increasing
  • China’s Belt and Road Initiative is opening the Chinese economy even further to merchandise imports
  • ecommerce is a critical pathway to China’s increasingly affluent consumers
  • Australia’s ‘clean, green’ reputation is still a major selling point for Queensland produce
  • health and aged care for China’s ageing population are growing services exports for Queensland
  • increasing numbers of Chinese students are pursuing overseas education opportunities.
JCU Asia Forum

A delegation from Nanjing Agricultural University attended JCU’s Asian Market Forum and site visits to Charters Towers.

International speakers included Professor Harry Wu from Hitotsubashi University in Japan (discussing challenges and prospects in China), and Professor Xinpeng Xu from Hong Kong Polytechnic University (discussing the Belt and Road Initiative).

Local businesses also benefited from the forum, with a number of participants joining site visits to Charters Towers’ businesses after the forum concluded.

Held on 13 July, this was the tenth annual Asian Market Forum hosted by JCU. This year’s forum was supported by the Australia China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, TIQ, the Port of Townsville and Townsville Enterprise.

Asia is identified as one of Queensland’s most important export markets in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Queensland businesses wanting to export to Asia can receive advice and support from TIQ offices in a range of Asian locations.

The forum presentations will be available soon on the JCU website.

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Silver consortium explores China aged-care opportunities

Queensland companies with expertise in the aged care industry spent last week in China exploring new business opportunities. The Australian Silver Industry Group – a Queensland-based consortium of an initial 7 companies – was in China from 6–14 July for a trade mission organised by TIQ.

Queensland companies with expertise in the aged care industry spent last week in China exploring new business opportunities.

The Australian Silver Industry Group – a Queensland-based consortium of an initial 7 companies – was in China from 6–14 July for a trade mission organised by TIQ.

TIQ CEO Virginia Greville said China presented enormous opportunities for Australian companies in the aged-care sector, from the design, construction and operation of senior-living facilities to technology-enabled health care services.

‘With an estimated population of over 400 million people aged over 65 in China by 2050, the Chinese Government has embarked on a program of rapid transformation of its aged-care industry,’ Ms Greville said.

‘This consortium, the first of its kind in Australia, is well placed to capitalise on these changes and to leverage the unique advantage presented by the China Australia Free Trade Agreement.

‘The companies taking part have significant international business experience and success, but individually their competitiveness has been constrained by the breadth and scale of capability required for large projects.

‘For this reason, TIQ encouraged the formation of this consortium to provide a unified Queensland export offering of diversified expertise and capabilities that we believe will greatly improve our chances of winning business in China.’

The consortium has been established as an initiative of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Members of the Australian Silver Industry Group are:

The delegation was following up on interest generated during Trade 2018 events organised by TIQ in conjunction with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.

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Brisbane Bandits hit home run in Taiwan

In a major PR coup, the Brisbane Bandits baseball team received more than $2 million worth of free publicity for their club and their home city when players Andrew Campbell and Logan Wade participated in an All Star Game in baseball-mad Taiwan in early July.

TIQ Taiwan commissioner Patrick Hafenstein and Brisbane Bandits’ coach David Nilsson enjoy burgers with beef supplied by Queensland company Stanbroke at TGIF Taiwan.

In a major PR coup, the Brisbane Bandits baseball team received more than $2 million worth of free publicity for their club and their home city when players Andrew Campbell and Logan Wade participated in an All Star Game in baseball-mad Taiwan in early July.

Bandit Campbell won the home-run derby, outhitting some of Taiwan’s best professional players and donating over $2,200 in winnings to a local Taiwanese charity. Wade took out third place.

The Bandits’ trip to Taiwan attracted extensive media coverage, with press conferences organised by the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) and TIQ generating online and TV coverage of the visit that reached more than 6 million people in 48 hours.

Bandits’ CEO Mark Ready said the extensive media coverage demonstrated baseball’s high profile in Asia.

‘That’s 4 times more reach than we get over an entire season in Australia,’ he said.

‘It demonstrates the growing importance of expanding the game into Taiwan, Japan and Korea, which have a combined fan base of 70 million.’

This is the first time CPBL has allowed a foreign team to play in the All Star Game, the first step in achieving CEO Ready’s dream of the Bandits playing in Taiwan’s major league.

Ready was in Taiwan with Bandits coach David Nilsson, scouting for Taiwanese players for the team’s upcoming season.

This follows last season’s signing of Taiwan’s highest paid player Chih-Sheng Lin, whose presence in the Bandits’ line-up boosted game attendance and exponentially increased online viewership.

Ready also spent time with TIQ Taiwan commissioner Patrick Hafenstein, attending meetings with potential sponsors, TV stations and the Taiwan office of the CPBL.

Coach Nilsson – who doubles as coach of the Australian baseball team and has recently been crowned a Queensland Great – was also able to celebrate another Queensland success during his time in Taiwan.

Nilsson dined on a Queensland burger at TGIF Taiwan, which has recently contracted Queensland’s Stanbroke beef company to supply 100% beef patties to the popular burger chain.

Queensland has one of Australia’s strongest relationships with Taiwan, and is the only Australian state or territory to operate a trade office in the Taiwanese market.

Queensland is also the most popular Australian destination for Taiwanese migrants and international students, and Queensland merchandise exports to Taiwan were worth $2.8 billion in 2017.

Boosting Queensland exports to Asian markets is one of the priorities of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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World of weddings at Toowoomba’s Gabbinbar

An historic Toowoomba venue has become a surprise international wedding destination, attracting couples from all over the world and boosting the local economy.

Isaac and Mel Moody

Isaac Moody and wife Mel are the owners of Gabbinbar Homestead. Image credit: Meek Studios

An historic Toowoomba venue has become a surprise international wedding destination, attracting couples from all over the world and boosting the local economy.

Gabbinbar Homestead owner Isaac Moody said the business originally targeted local couples, but the charms of the 1863 homestead quickly attracted much wider attention.

‘When we opened in January 2012, we initially envisaged our main market would be local Toowoomba couples,’ he said.

‘But once photos of our weddings started to make wedding magazines, we were inundated with bookings not just from the local area but interstate and internationally.

‘Currently over 95% of our wedding clients originate from outside the local area.’

Mr Moody said two key factors had made it possible for Gabbinbar to successfully market itself around the world.

‘Two things have been gamechangers for our business: Wellcamp Airport near Toowoomba, which opened in 2014, and digital marketing.

‘The airport gives us easy connectivity to the world, and digital marketing gives us the capacity to market to interstate and international clients.’

Gabbinbar’s popularity has driven significant business growth, with flow-on benefits for other local businesses.

‘These days Gabbinbar Homestead employs approximately 50 staff, including 6 full-time wedding planners and a wonderful team of chefs,’ Mr Moody said.

‘We host up to 200 weddings a year and generate an average of 400 room nights of accommodation for the city of Toowoomba each week [4 weddings with around 100 guests each] — making Gabbinbar Homestead one of the most significant tourism businesses on the Darling Downs.’

Tourism is Queensland’s most valuable services export, injecting millions of overseas dollars into the state’s economy.

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

You can learn more about the Gabbinbar story in our full interview with Isaac on TIQ’s Medium page.

Hero image credit: Evernew Studio

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Grants up to $50,000 to grow your SME

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

The Queensland Government’s Business Growth 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 not just for equipment but also for advice and mentoring.

‘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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Seven emerging industries open ASEAN export doors

A new report on the ASEAN region has identified 7 emerging industries that could open doors for Australian companies wanting to export to new markets.

A new report on the ASEAN region has identified 7 emerging industries that could open doors for Australian companies wanting to export to new markets.

The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia Nations) region is one of the world’s fastest growing and most economically dynamic.

The Sunrise Industries Report by CSIRO’S Data61 team identifies 7 emerging or ‘sunrise’ industries, which are defined as industries arising due to technological, regulatory, economic or social change.

Industries identified are:

  • artificial intelligence and autonomous systems
  • financial and regulatory services and technology
  • high-value nutrition
  • energy storage and distribution
  • cyber-physical systems security
  • ageing populations and growing concerns about personal health
  • digital infrastructure and connectivity.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the ASEAN region was on track to be the world’s fourth largest economy by 2030, and Australia was ideally placed to take advantage of its emerging industries.

‘Each of these opportunities is strongly supported by breakthrough Australian science, giving the potential for enormous economic benefit as we help ASEAN countries make this transition,’ he said.

‘To catalyse Australian innovation we need to think beyond our traditional boundaries and adopt a global vision.’

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

In 2016–17, Queensland’s merchandise exports to ASEAN were valued at $4.5 billion, up 28% on the previous 12 months.

The Sunrise Industries Report was launched earlier this year at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney.

The summit also included an ASEAN-Australia SME Conference, which brought Australian SMEs together with regional specialists, business leaders and successful exporters.

Expanding Queensland’s trade presence in Singapore and the ASEAN region is one of the initiatives of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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