AUSTRALIA must create better incentives to attract business and investment from Asia, including Hong Kong, to help boost the country's economy and global competitiveness.
This is an important theme of a recent report based on the recommendations of the 'Australia as a Financial and Technology Centre Advisory Group' to the Australian Government by Senator Andrew Bragg.
The Australia as a Financial and Technology Centre Advisory Group is a collection of leading industry advisors, including Atlas Advisors Australia who convened with Senator Bragg in August 2020 to advise on the best path forward for strengthening Australia as an Asia-Pacific business and financial services hub.
Executive chairman of wealth manager Atlas Advisors Australia, Guy Hedley congratulated Senator Bragg on the Advisory Group report.
“The principles set out within are critical to guiding the future of Australia’s economy,” Mr Hedley said. “Most importantly this means removing barriers to business growth and attracting business, investment and expertise to help drive industry and innovation.”
Mr Hedley said reforming the Significant Investor Visa program was key to Australia’s competitiveness in attracting wealth and investment from prominent businesspeople in destinations such as Hong Kong.
“Venture capital is critical to growing Australia’s next generation of internationally competitive employers,” Mr Hedley said.
Start-ups and the early-stage segment of venture capital are in desperate need of funds with statistics showing that the number of early-stage funding deals in Australia have declined from around $320 million in 2016-17 to $120 million in 2018-19.
“The Significant Investor Visa program could be the driving force behind Australia’s ailing venture capital sector, having already contributed more than $11 billion in direct investment to Australia so far," Mr Hedley said.
“Wealthy migrant businesspeople can provide the investment and expertise to help build local businesses, industries and employment.”
Another key aspect to boosting venture capital, he said, was creating better incentives to attract world talent, who become the founders of internationally competitive companies.
“These people bring unique expertise and experience to Australia with a multiplier effect on domestic employment.”