Queensland walked the talk of its Pacific Trade Strategy through a new trade mission to Samoa and Fiji this month.

Led by Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ), the mission further actioned the Strategy announced in November 2022, with rounds of high-level meetings with Fijian and Samoan Ministers, businesses, and Queensland university alumni.

TIQ CEO Justin McGowan was supported by Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Pacific Leata Alaimoana on the mission, which further consolidate Queensland’s position as Australia’s gateway to the Pacific.

Queensland has longstanding historical connections to the region through business, education, sport and deep people-to-people links.

The Queensland Pacific Trade Strategy is backed by $4.38 million commitment from the Queensland Government.

Through the universal language of sport, Pacific nations have built strong ties with Queensland, which has been home to training camps and friendly games for local teams. As part of the trade mission, members of the Brisbane Broncos and Queensland Reds attended specialist skills clinics in both Samoa and Fiji.

The mission delegates also visited Queensland companies doing business in Samoa and Fiji.

TIQ client The Calmer Co was an important stop on the itinerary. The Calmer Co is a Fiji-Queensland trade collaboration developing Fijian kava into nutraceuticals exported worldwide.

Queensland alumni receptions were held in both Samoa and Fiji, with esteemed guests including Galumalemana Titi Schwalger, the former CEO of the Samoan Land Transport Authority in Samoa, and Dr Raijeli Taga, Chief Environment Officer, Permanent Secretary for Lands and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources in Fiji.

Queensland universities also have exceptional and longstanding research partnerships with both Fiji and Samoa.

The University of Queensland established their International Development Centre in 1994, and the University of the Sunshine Coast has a dedicated Australian Centre for the Pacific Islands Research (ACPIR).

It is the only research centre in an Australian university with an exclusive focus on the Pacific Islands region.

With traditional strong links between the Pacific region and Queensland’s Far North, representatives from Cairns Airport Corporation also joined the delegation with a view to cultivate strategic partnerships and opportunities.

TIQ works closely with the Australia Pacific Business Council, who are committed partners and a great support, bridging business to business opportunities throughout the region, including in Samoa and Fiji.

Mr McGowan said that Queensland’s strong links with Samoa and Fiji, and the entire Pacific region, was based on a committed and unique relationship.

“Queensland is home to a large Pacific diaspora; we respect the collectivism and shared values approach to business and investment needs in the region,” he said.

“Our people-to-people links are a living bridge between Queensland and the Pacific which we value highly.

“It reinforces why we are the first and only state in Australia with a committed Pacific Trade Strategy, and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner dedicated to bringing the strategy to life.” 

Ms Alaimoana said that since the announcement of the Strategy, she and her team were proud of the enthusiasm of Pacific governments, businesses, and especially local communities, have shown the right across the region.

“It’s a real privilege to have the ability to facilitate what have become enduring connections through Trade and Investment Queensland,” she said.

“The importance of continuing our state’s engagement with this region has implications for more powerful economic opportunities both here and right across Queensland.”

About Trade and Investment Queensland

Trade and Investment Queensland is the Queensland Government’s dedicated global business agency with representation in 16 countries, across 21 locations, with 12 Trade and Investment Commissioners covering seven regions around the world. TIQ helps Queensland companies access international markets and facilitates foreign investments in the state. Contact us here