Morning Tea in Celebration of Queensland’s Trade and Investment Program and the 2014 Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards
It is Kaye’s and my pleasure to welcome you all here this morning, as we celebrate the important contributions exporting businesses make to our State’s economy. We are particularly delighted to host you at this magnificent residence here at Fernberg. This house owes a great deal to ingenuity and commerce. It was built by a successful businessman during the 1860s.
In 1989, when these awards began, Queensland exported goods and services totalling about $9 billion. Twenty-five years later, our exports are now worth somewhere near $54 billion.
Our traditional export markets in the resource, education, tourism and agricultural sectors continue to grow strongly on the back of Asian growth. But in addition, Queensland businesses – with trademark entrepreneurial flair – continue to take advantage of, and in many cases pioneer the creation of, export opportunities in exciting areas like the creative industries, health and biotechnology, and environmental management. It is great to see all of these industries reflected in this year’s award categories.
This morning tea is quite timely for us. Kaye and I returned from official travel just this week. We were promoting two-way trade between Queensland and three of the world’s largest economies, India, Europe and the UK. A prime message to industry and government leaders was, and is, that Queensland is open for business ahead of next month’s G20 Leaders’ Summit.
I particularly mention Trade and Investment Queensland CEO Andrew Tulloch and our Trade Commissioners Ken Smith, in the UK, and Parag Shirname, in India. They are all present here today, and I thank them for their careful and thoughtful planning of a highly appropriate program for our overseas visit. We were guided by consummate professionals. The Queensland Government has a number of trade and investment offices, and long-standing relationships at the government and industry level, to assist businesses to expand into markets all over the world, and I encourage you to utilise their services.
The trip brought home that bolstering two-way trade is integral, not just to achieving the G20 objective to boost collective GDP by at least 2 per cent above the current trajectory, but also integral to Australia’s playing its role as a global citizen.
As an exporter, whether you are a small family-run businesses or a larger company servicing the resources sector, you are achieving two important goals: firstly, you are fuelling our prosperity here on the ground in Queensland. Secondly, by taking highly innovative products and services to the world, you are increasing our prosperity abroad; all of this deserves commendation.
On behalf of all Queenslanders, Kaye and I thank you wholeheartedly for your efforts. We also acknowledge the winners of last night’s awards, who now go on to be recognised on the national stage alongside their peers from other states and the territories at the Australian Export Awards in November, particularly the winner of the Premier’s Exporter of the Year Award, Blast Movement Technologies.
Finally, thank you to the organisers of these immensely beneficial awards, and to the members of the judging panel, particularly those who have joined us this morning.
Please, let us now enjoy the occasion with some fine Government House hospitality.