Morning Tea for Finalists in the 2015 Premier of Queensland’s Export Awards Program
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a pleasure to have you join us here today to continue the celebrations which began last night at the Presentation Ceremony.
I offer my sincere congratulations to all Export Award winners announced last night, and I also acknowledge the thirty finalists in the awards program, many of whom are here today. Those of you who made the “final cut” have demonstrated you are in the top tier of Queensland exporters this year - a feat of which you should be very proud.
Entrants in the Export Awards Program reflect but a small representation of the many thousands of exporters throughout the State, who together, make up Queensland’s almost forty seven billion dollar annual export market.
Many of these exporters, and indeed several of the companies represented here today, have been aided, in building our State’s international business and investment market, through the ongoing support of Trade and Investment Queensland. Through this dedicated team covering Brisbane and regional Queensland, in addition to offshore representation through Trade and Investment Commissioners based in Asia, the Middle East, India, the Americas and Europe, the State continues to be well positioned to maximise opportunities as they arise in an ever-changing global trade and investment environment.
The recently signed Free Trade Agreements in Asia are but one example of the opportunities current for Queensland businesses. The Korean FTA began late last year, the Japan FTA came into force earlier this year and the agreement with China is currently being finalised. I note also the conclusion just this week of the Trans-pacific Partnership Agreement, creating a free trade zone among 12 nations including Australia. With Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioners based in several of the participating countries, our State is well placed to ensure our businesses can capitalise on the many benefits these agreements will bring, including preferential access for Australia’s exports.
Following Kaye’s and my visit to India, Europe and the United Kingdom in twenty fourteen, this year we travelled to Asia to promote two way trade and investment for Queensland. We returned only a month ago from that visit to Hong Kong and South Korea where I did my best to promote Queensland’s science, health and research partnerships, emergency service capabilities, tourism investment and education.
I extend my thanks to Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioners, Angela To in Hong Kong who cannot be here today, and Daniel Kim in Korea, who is with us, for the excellent programmes and support they provided during our visit.
It has been a pleasure to be part of this year’s Queensland International Business Series Program of Events and its centrepiece activity – the Export Awards Program – so well organised, as always, by Trade and Investment Queensland and the Export Council of Australia. Congratulations once again to all finalists and winners and we look forward to meeting you.