The annual search for Queensland’s best exporters has begun with the launch of the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards 2018.

The export awards acknowledge Queensland businesses engaged in international trade, and reward their dedication to being the best at what they do.

Speaking at the awards launch in Brisbane on 10 May, TIQ Board Chairman Steve Bredhauer said export success brought major benefits to the state and to individual businesses.

‘One in five Queensland jobs is supported by exports,’ Mr Bredhauer said.

‘Exporting also delivers many benefits for businesses.

‘It unlocks news markets for goods and services, which can lead to stronger growth rates and higher profits … exporters are also more innovative and adopt new technologies and management practices sooner than non-exporters.’

Jeff Anning, CEO of last year’s Exporter of the Year, Evolve Skateboards, said the company had experienced major benefits from entering the awards over a number of years.

‘We won our first export award in the small business category in 2015 and best regional exporter in 2016,’ said Mr Anning.

‘The connections we have made with trade delegates and other businesses as a result of winning have been invaluable.

‘What stands out about the Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards is the feedback you get from the judging panel, which is something no other award program we have entered has done.’

This year’s export awards include 13 industry categories covering everything from agribusiness to education, health, manufacturing and ecommerce.

They also include four other Queensland categories, which recognise export innovation, women in international business, emerging exporters, and the defence industry.

Queensland winners of the industry awards will go on to compete at the Australian Export Awards later in the year.

Applications are now open for the Queensland awards and close 6 August.

The Queensland awards program is delivered by the Export Council of Australia on behalf of TIQ.

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