Alita, when we first heard TIQ was planning a silver trade mission we thought it was mining. We were wrong! Could you explain what silver means in this instance?

Silver in this instance means “aged care”! It’s a fun take on grey-haired people. I think it’s an endearing and dignified term.

So which Queensland businesses did Trade and Investment Queensland take on this trade mission to China?

Alita Singer (second from the left) with Queensland delegates and international leaders at China International Silver Industry Exhibition in Guangdong

Alita Singer (second from the left) with Queensland delegates and international leaders at China International Silver Industry Exhibition in Guangdong

We had a great selection of delegates actually, which was fantastic! Our delegates included, Thomson AdsettTunstall HealthcareThrive AustralasiaPhenix HealthTAFE Qld and Bolton Clarke, so we covered everything from facility design, facilities management and operation, nursing management, training through to software platforms and integrated devices, and nutrition.

While you were on the trade mission, what kind of meetings were you able to set up for your clients?

TIQ China and Hong Kong offices, in conjunction with TIQ Brisbane, were able to arrange and facilitate a fantastic program that included group meetings and site visits and also a tailored business matching meeting program for the delegates at the expo.

A big part of your trip was the Silver Industry trade show in Guangdong. Trade shows can be exhausting, but what was the best thing about the experience?

Yes the expo was indeed exhausting, but was probably the highlight of the trip for the delegates. The Queensland stand was by far the most popular stand out of the entire expo and we were bursting from the seams for the majority of the time. We had a comprehensive business-matching program for the delegates, and that, coupled with the walk-ins, had everyone running — and our interpreters certainly got a work out!

Ageing populations is one of the mega trends mentioned in theQueensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022 — not just in Australia but in Asia. What’s the opportunity for Queensland businesses in this space?

According to the United Nations, China is ageing more rapidly than almost any country in recent history.

According to the United Nations, China is ageing more rapidly than almost any country in recent history.

Australia, and Queensland in particular, are quite advanced in this sector, especially compared to the majority of Asian countries. As the population ages in China, there’s a shift from the traditional at-home care of multi-generations for a variety of reasons, such as the younger generation working overseas for business et cetera and therefore not around to care for their ageing family.

Can you give us a real-life example of how a Queensland aged-care product or service could be applied to China’s much larger population and spaces?

Queensland has capabilities in varied aspects of aged care and, in fact, Thomson Adsett designed the first high-rise aged care facility in Hong Kong in 2004. This experience, couple with our capabilities in telehealth are of great interest to Hong Kong specifically due to limited land availability and shortage of beds.

If Queensland businesses are working in this space and want to look at exporting — what’s the first thing they should do?

In 2015, the number of older people in China (136.9 million) exceeded Japan’s total population (126.9 million)

In 2015, the number of older people in China (136.9 million) exceeded Japan’s total population (126.9 million)

I recommend that they do some initial research about the market they want to export to and clearly articulate their unbiased overview of their unique product/service offering. TIQ Brisbane and overseas posts are here to help also.

Where’s your next trade mission and how can exporters get in touch?

No concrete plans for our next mission yet … however, reflecting on the success of this mission, we might be looking to head back again for the 5th China International Silver Industry Exhibition in Nov 2018!

At home, 2018 will be extremely busy for us in Brisbane, and Queensland companies will have plenty of chances for great exposure to overseas markets . There’ll be the Commonwealth Innovation Forum held by Life Sciences Queensland in April 2018 to coincide with the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Trade 2018 will be a large component of the Commonwealth Games, in fact there will be a health and aged-care team on this event. There’s also the World Hospital Forum in Brisbane in October 2018 and then AusBioTech in Brisbane in November 2018 as well.

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