Afternoon Tea for Finalists of the 2021 Premier of Queensland Export Awards and Trade and Investment Queensland Commissioners
TIQ Board Members, acting CEO, Mr Richard Watson; Commissioners; ladies and gentlemen.
It is a great pleasure to welcome finalists in the 2021 Premier of Queensland Export Awards to Government House today.
I at once acknowledge the traditional owners of these lands and extend respectful greetings to Elders and emerging leaders.
Regrettably, the 2020 Export Awards fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on lives, livelihoods and events everywhere.
Many exporters will also have experienced a level of disruption from the pandemic, whether affecting staff, production, customers or logistics.
However, exporting companies that already have to take into account exchange rates, trade barriers and customs regimes, the ebb and flow of international relationships, and many other factors, know more than a little about adaptability and responsiveness.
This year’s finalists are no exception.
They have remained committed to their export goals through challenging times. They have, where necessary, found new customers overseas, responded to emerging market needs, and nurtured their international connections.
Once again, the range of goods and services represented by finalists is exceptional – from gelato to behavioural science, wagyu to ice baths, specialist data solutions to wallpaper, and many more.
Fortunately, the Premier’s Export Awards are back in 2021 to highlight the success of our leading exporting companies.
The Awards also highlight the enormous contribution these Queensland exporters make to their local economies, and to our State and national economies, through employment creation, skills development, innovation, and the business opportunities they create for suppliers.
Nor should it be forgotten that exporters contribute to the strength of Australia’s international relationships through business-to-business and people-to-people networks.
It is for these reasons that I have been delighted to host a reception for Awards finalists in every year of my tenure as Governor – except 2020 – to honour our exporters.
Kaye and I have had the further honour of promoting our State’s export and investments efforts through visits to many of our top ten overseas markets during my time as Governor.
Regrettably, this is my last opportunity to host our exporters – all the more reason, then, to congratulate wholeheartedly all 2021 Awards finalists and all those who nominated for the 2021 Awards.
I thank the Premier and Trade and Investment Queensland – including the TIQ officials here today – for sustaining this important recognition for our exporters, and maintaining their on-the-ground support for exporters in Queensland’s key markets.
I wish all finalists good fortune at the Queensland Awards presentation, and at the national awards.
And I extend my best wishes for the greatest of success for your companies into the future, to the great benefit of all Queenslanders.