BRISBANE businesses made up more than half of the winning categories at the Premier of Queensland Export Awards with top honours going to Brazilian-owned, Ipswich-based Swift Australia.

Swift won the agribusiness category, while Brisbane businesses from a range of industries that were recognised for their achievements abroad.

Post-production company Cutting Edge Post won the Arts and Entertainment award for the fifth year running

“It’s been a while between drinks and so this speech has been in my pocket of this suit for about three or four years, so I don’t know whether the ink’s still on it – I’ll have a look anyway,” says Cutting Edge CEO Ray Smith.

“Cutting Edge is a proud, very proud, Brisbane-based company owned by three Brisbane blokes and we stand tall as an international achiever, punching above our weight.”

“Brisbane could be doing a lot more to take its place on the world stage, but to succeed requires an unwavering commitment to excellence and strong leadership.”

Door hardware company Centor Holdings won the small to medium manufacturer award, as managing director Nigel Spork called on Brisbane exporters to not just sell overseas, but set up operations overseas too.

“For those people who have a simple export model of taking a purely product exported from Australia to overseas, can I recommend that they start looking at an international operation, which is build your own operation overseas,” he says.

“If there’s an advantage of the Australian dollar being where it is today, it is cheaper than ever to set up overseas.”

Listed company Sedgman Limited won the large services award, as chief operating officer Steve Van Barneveld highlighted the company’s role at the heart of the Queensland economy through the coal industry, taking its expertise further afield.

“We do deliver services internationally into Africa and also into South America, and I guess a reflection for me is a comment from our chairman Russell Kempnich up in Tete in the middle of Mozambique - ‘isn’t it wonderful to be involved in what is not just a project, but making a difference to a country’ – and I think that is a hallmark for what it’s all about today.

Yeahpoint won the ICT category, Place Design Group took out the Small to Medium Services prize, Ecospecifier was judged the top small business, while Cook Australia won the large Advanced Manufacturer Award.

Presenting Cook Australia with their award, Premier Anna Bligh said the Eight Mile Plains company is taking its leading health care products to the world.

"This is a Queensland company that has adapted itself to the dynamic and evolving field of health care, providing solutions to the complex clinical challenges faced by physicians and health care administrators globally," she says.

"Cook Australia develops and commercialises medical devices to assist in enhancing patient care and clinical outcomes worldwide. A leader in manufacturing products used during in vitro fertilisation, Cook Medical also manufactures advanced endovascular grafts for the treatment of aortic diseases, designed specifically to suit an individual patient's anatomy.

"Since its humble beginnings in 1979, the company has grown significantly to now employ over 400 workers, with exports making up 40 percent of its sales. Cook Australia now exports to 135 countries globally.”

Other awards were scoped by MineWare (the Emerging Exporter award) and Fern Software’s Dr Alan McCabe for the Richard Joel Young Export Entrepreneur Award. For the second year running, Griffith University was announced the winner of the education and training category.

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