Queensland: Australia's Strongest Economy
Written by Justine Costigan
Produced by Nuance Multimedia Australia
Competing in an international marketplace where standards, quality and innovation are more important than ever, Queensland continues to impress as a diversified, growing economy. With the State's export success stories spanning major industry sectors from mining and agriculture to marine, aviation and creative industries, Queensland’s products and services have won an international reputation for quality and innovation. Queensland has an established economy based on mining and agriculture, and has spent more than a decade investing in knowledgerich industries, adding aerospace, biotechnology and information and communication technologies to build an increasingly diversified economy. Queensland is the fastest-growing exporter of knowledge-intensive goods and services in Australia over the past five years, and its export sector continues to go from strength to strength.
A Diversified, Dynamic Economy
Queensland is well known for its nearly 7,000 kilometers of stunning coastline and its agricultural and minerals production, but the State’s export industries are also becoming more recognized on the world stage.
Queensland is one of the first ports of call for individuals, corporations or governments needing luxury boats, commercial or defence vessels, specialized marine equipment, training, marine berthing, boat-lift systems or marine infrastructure and design. Queensland’s marine industry is focused on export and attracts customers from all over the world.
Riviera, the largest luxury boat-building company in the Southern Hemisphere, has become a well-known brand name through a dealer network in 30 countries. Synonymous with fine craftsmanship and attention to detail, it is just one of many Queensland marine-based companies exporting technology, expertise and services to the Asia-Pacific.
"We have some of the world’s best practice in the marine industry and we are natural leaders in this area," says Rob Whiddon, general manager of Trade Queensland, the organization responsible for driving Queensland's export success. "Historically, Queensland's economy has been based on agriculture and mining, and although they are still important to Queensland and Asia, we have been quietly diversifying with great success."
Aviation is one of the key knowledge industries representing Queensland's successful diversification. In the past decade Queensland has become a major aviation and aerospace hub for the Asia-Pacific region, with a number of key international aviation corporations including Boeing, Raytheon, EADS/ Australian Aerospace, GE Aviation and Sikorsky and airlines Qantas and Virgin investing heavily in the State. Queensland is now an important center for aviation education and training, and its mix of aircraft modification, manufacture, maintenance repair and overhaul capabilities has positioned the industry for major export expansion.
Gateway to Asia
QUEENSLAND PREMIER THE HON. ANNA BLIGH MP
My Government maintains Trade Queensland offices in China, India, Korea and Japan. This strong presence illustrates how serious we are about maintaining and improving Asian market links, and positioning Queensland as a gateway to Asia.
The Queensland Government supports trade as a vital element in building stronger international friendships and creating more opportunities for Queenslanders. At the end of 2007, we established Trade Queensland as an independent agency, and Queensland’s export performance is improving as we work to develop new and emerging trade markets, with a strong focus on Asia.
In 2006-07, Queensland's services exports were worth A$7.79 billion, while our goods exports topped A$35.4 billion - an outstanding result.
Trade Queensland's most recent figures show that the agency directly helped to generate A$521 million in export sales in 2007-08.
My Government looks forward to providing continued support for the work Trade Queensland is undertaking to position our State as a preferred supplier and gateway to Asia.
Biotechnology is another area where Queensland excels. Building on its natural strengths in tropical medicine, vaccine development and therapeutics, about 90 biotechnology companies are based in Queensland, most of which are developing human therapeutics. The development of the world's first cervical cancer vaccine by Professor Ian Frazer at Queensland's Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research is one of the best-known Queensland biotechnology success stories, but there are many more. Australia is ranked the world's most cost-effective location for clinical trials of new drugs, and the Queensland Clinical Trials Network is generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue from clinical tests for overseas companies. Twenty-three drugs are now in clinical development with even more in the discovery phase.
Since 1998, the Queensland Government has invested more than A$3 billion in science, research and innovation. This investment recognizes the enormous potential biotechnology offers in health and medicine, agriculture and manufacturing.
Queensland has also recorded significant growth in its information and communications technology (ICT) sector. Mining and energy applications, capital-intensive industries and retail applications and e-learning, e-security, e-health, multimedia and wireless technologies contribute to Queensland's competitive ICT edge. Several Queensland ICT companies support international mining companies across Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South Africa, Latin America and Canada. Queensland companies are also leading Australia in Global Navigation Satellite Systems for a range of industries and the State is a leader in information security. Queensland is Trading with our neighbors in Asia remains at the forefront of our plans for securing Queensland's economic future. Asia is a particular region of focus for exporters under the Queensland Government's comprehensive trade policy - Driving Export Growth for Queensland 2006-2011. Trade Queensland is leading implementation of this policy and delivering strong export growth.
Queensland at a Glance
Capital city: Brisbane
Population: 4.3 million
Top four exports (2007-08):
Right: Russell Mineral Equipment's mill relining systems are used globally.
The policy identifies potential export opportunities and sets out a plan to expand exports. This plan concentrates on servicing industry sectors where our State has valuable experience and knowledge in identified geographical markets. Asia's continued economic growth and proximity puts the region at the top of our list of key markets. Queensland has always offered highquality resources and food products to our Asian partners, but more recently we are demonstrating that we can also offer world-class information and communications technology, mining equipment technology and services, art and creative industry services, biotechnology, infrastructure consultancy and construction, education and training, marine services and production, manufacturing and professional services, to name but a few. home to the NICTA (National ICT Australia) e-security research laboratory. But it's not just the industrial, manufacturing and mining industries in which Queensland ICT excels.
"It is widely known and appreciated in Asia that Queensland has the fastest-growing economy in Australia," Whiddon says, "and there's a growing understanding and appreciation in Asia of the diversity and quality of Queensland industries. We expect that over the next decade that reputation will only be further enhanced."
Driving Export Growth
MINISTER FOR TRADE THE HON. JOHN MICKEL MP
Trading with our neighbors in Asia remains at the forefront of our plans for securing Queensland's economic future.
Asia is a particular region of focus for exporters under the Queensland Government's comprehensive trade policy - Driving Export Growth for Queensland 2006-2011. Trade Queensland is leading implementation of this policy and delivering strong export growth.
The policy identifies potential export opportunities and sets out a plan to expand exports. This plan concentrates on servicing industry sectors where our State has valuable experience and knowledge in identified geographical markets. Asia's continued economic growth and proximity puts the region at the top of our list of key markets.
Queensland has always offered highquality resources and food products to our Asian partners, but more recently we are demonstrating that we can also offer world-class information and communications technology, mining equipment technology and services, art and creative industry services, biotechnology, infrastructure consultancy and construction, education and training, marine services and production, manufacturing and professional services, to name but a few.
Expertise for Extraction
Behind the scenes of the global mining industry, an innovative Brisbane company has quietly established itself as a world leader in mining technology solutions.
Brisbane-based Xstrata Technology Pty Ltd is responsible for the technology supporting more than a third of the world's refined copper and more than 8 million tonnes of copper concentrate smelting capacity. The company's leadership has been recognized by winning the 2008 Queensland Exporter of the Year Award.
Xstrata Technology (XT) develops, markets and supports technologies for the global mineral processing and metals smelting and refining industries. XT technologies are tried and tested on mine sites throughout Australia and used in mining industries all over the world, from Kazakhstan to China, the U.S., Zambia andBelgium. These include patented ISASMELT and ISACONVERT smelting processes, IsaMill grinding mills, Tankhouse Group ISA PROCESS and Kidd Process copper refining technology, Jameson Cell flotation machines and Albion Process refractory leaching technology. XT's processing technology, developed and operated by XT staff with real experience in the field, has won a reputation for innovation and reliability since development began in 1988.
A marketing strategy that includes presentations at conferences, site visits and sponsorship has helped build XT's global customer base, with 92% of sales now sourced from overseas.
XT's export success has been the result of two key factors: first, years of hard work by engineers (who may spend more than 30% of their time overseas dealing with clients and forming networks to market the technology); and second, a philosophy that focuses on the client to provide a comprehensive, tailored solution involving integrated process and equipment design, detailed engineering, equipment supply, operator training, commissioning assistance, spare parts supply and ongoing process and maintenance support.
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