Global Market Insights 2022: Tech Opportunities in Australia 

 

Tech Opportunities in Australia

 

Doing Business in Australia

Australia ranks among the global top 20 for ease of doing business, is the world’s 14th largest economy and is known as a tech powerhouse.

Digital opportunities in Australia continue to grow, driven by a thriving tech sector, a high digital adoption rate, and a robust cybersecurity landscape.

As a technologically advanced nation and a trusted trading partner to Australia, Singapore is well-placed to capitalise on new opportunities in the region.    

This article describes the key takeaways from SGTech’s panel discussion on the tech business and investment opportunity in Australia with the following industry stakeholders:

  • Ms Kathleen Moorby, Digital Project Manager, AustCyber Stone & Chalk
  • Ms Kendall Draper, First Secretary Home Affairs, Global Talent Officer South East Asia, Australia High Commission, Singapore
  • Mr Stephen Skulley, Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner, Australian Trade and Investment Commission, Singapore
  • Mr Selwyn Sean Scharnhorst, Director, Ecosystem Development, Cyber Security Agency of Singapore
  • Mr Sachvinder Singh, Director, Handshakes by DC Frontier
  • Ms Chong Hui Wen, Regional Director (Oceania), Enterprise Singapore
  • Ms Jenny O’Sullivan, Senior Advisor, International Trade & Investment, Foley & Associates
  • Ms Yean Cheong, Executive Director, SGTech  

 

A Leading Digital Economy

Tech is the third-largest industry in Australia, generating A$167 billion for the economy and employing 861,000 skilled talents in FY2021. Australia’s government has made a strong commitment to the country becoming a top 10 digital economy and society by 2030. In the latest iteration of Australia’s Digital Economy Strategy, A$2.6 billion has been invested in supporting technologies such as the National Broadband Network, 5G Innovation, Quantum Future, Artificial Intelligence and SMEs digitalisation.

The tech sector in Australia is opportune for investors with a conducive business environment, a world-class innovation ecosystem and a collaborative Research and Development (R&D) environment. 


Currently, the leading digital disruptors include Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Quantum Computing, Software as a Service (SaaS), Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Blockchain, Immersive Media and Big Data – sectors with massive potential for growth. 

Key Challenges of Doing Business in Australia

There are various barriers to entry from tax regulations, compliance, and global mobility issues when starting a business in Australia. 

 “One of the biggest international expansion challenges is staying compliant,” states Mr Sachvinder Singh, director of Handshakes by DC Frontier, a start-up that successfully pivoted into Australian markets. He recommends investing in good governance and tax compliance from the outset, which is critical for any business venturing into new markets.

Other challenges highlighted by industry advisors include: 

  • Ensuring your finance capital is in order with a relatively high cost of doing business in Australia (e.g., high cost of labour)
  • Enabling global mobility from relocating skilled workers to visa procedures
  • Establishing the right partnerships with suppliers and customers 
Growing Internationally, Gaining Trusted Partnerships

Before stepping into international markets, it is crucial to spend time on strategic market research and plan responsibly for sustainable growth.  

Key questions to consider when launching a business overseas are:

  • End customers: who is your target audience?
  • Partners: what type of distributors do you need to service the market in Australia? Which local partners do you have to help you in your research?
  • Budget: do you have the budget to finance long-term growth plans?
  • Capacity: do you have the resources and people to commit to the expansion?
  • Government Resources: are there available funding sources?
  • Product/Service Modification: does your product suit the Australian market? 
  • Competitors: is it an established industry or is there a gap in the market?

Australia’s business culture is relationship-based and having trusted local partnerships is key to acquiring market knowledge and facilitating product adoption. 

Additionally, relying on available support from trade associations and government incentives can help companies overcome common barriers to entry. 

In Australia, the government initiated the Global Talent Visa Program to help improve global mobility via a streamlined pathway to permanent residency. This means 90% of visa applications are finalised around 5 months which can fast-track essential hiring processes and mediate the talent gap. 

Australia’s tech ecosystem is well-equipped with the infrastructure and resources to assist businesses in their expansion journey within the digital space. For example, the development of the AuCyberScape and AuCyberExplorer digital marketplace aims to help businesses unify and integrate their cybersecurity posture. 

 

Conclusion

If you are looking to achieve the next level of business growth, exploring market opportunities in Australia can be advantageous for Singaporean companies. A strong bilateral relationship between the two nations has paved the way for long-lasting tech partnerships and collaborations.
By understanding local markets as well as cultural norms, knowing key regulations and building towards long-term goals, businesses can ride the wave of new opportunities in a globally integrated economy. 

Calling for Companies Interested in Overseas Opportunities

Take your tech company global with market entry and immersion programmes, business matching and trade fairs at [email protected]h.org.sg. 

 

---
Published May 2022