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Premier of Tasmania's column 2010-11 Annual

Tasmania’s size, natural resources and our safe location delivers a business opportunity and lifestyle that other locations simply can’t offer.

 

Many opportunities exist for further investment in those areas where the State has unprecedented natural and built advantages.

 

Tasmania's temperate climate, fertile soils, access to water and the absence of any major pests and diseases, provide excellent conditions for our thriving agribusiness industry.

 

Tasmania is also the first place in Australia to commence the implementation of the Australian Government’s National Broadband Network (NBN).

 

The NBN will deliver speeds of 100 megabits per second to 90 per cent of Tasmanian premises by 2014, making us a perfect place to test-bed new digital applications, services and products designed to be delivered over a high-speed digital network.

 

With 90 per cent of Tasmania’s energy derived from renewable sources such as hydro and wind, Tasmania is considered as a global leader in the development of renewable energy. World-class renewable energy resources still untapped include wave, tidal and geothermal.

 

Tasmania has a remarkable geological diversity and abundance of rich and high-grade mineral deposits and there remain many untapped opportunities for exploration, extraction and downstream processing of mineral resources. Those minerals currently extracted and exported are copper, gold, silver, iron ore, tin, lead and zinc.

 

We have spectacular wilderness, friendly people, a temperate climate, unique flora and fauna, superb fresh natural produce, low pollution, the lowest crime rates in Australia and a rich cultural heritage.

 

Why not contact us to find out what opportunities await you in Australia’s only island state, a small island with big ideas.

 

Premier David Bartlett

Tasmania

Get the Right Advice: Business Migration and Investment in Australia

While faltering international trade and commerce continue to wreak havoc on business opportunities across the industrialised world, the Australian economy has only grown. Its unemployment remains low due to ready access to credit and resilient primary industries, and much of the country’s social and economic landscape is extremely attractive to investors, businesspeople and overseas workers alike.

 

Its Migration Program annually takes on a large number of migrants and temporary entrants and those interested in migrating or investing should treat Australia’s complex set of around 150 different visas – and their intersecting and overlapping requirements – with a great deal of care.

 

About one third of those visas cater, in some manner or form, to business people through visa options for investors, business owners, senior executives and other “high calibre” talent, as well as to Employer Nominated, State Sponsored and Regional Skilled migrants. This does not count the multifarious, contradictory work permissions allowed in many visitor and student visas, and a professional advocate can be of great service in sorting out the best option.

 

For example, for those with “genuine and realistic commitment” to open a business or a branch in Australia, Business Talent (Migrant) (Subclass 132) may await; owner operators might find that “to stay in Australia on a permanent basis”, Business Owner (Residence) (Subclass 890) is their best fit; “employees of a major overseas business” may look to Senior Executives (Provisional) (Subclass 161) for achievability and security.

 

Similarly, whilst some investments, accords and deals can be achieved within the three month window of the ETA, eVisitor, Business (Short Stay) (Subclass 456) and Sponsored Business Visitor (Short Stay) (Subclass  459) visa types, other endeavours require the permanence afforded by the 800-series Subclasses; for some Subclasses, applications can only be submitted from outside of Australia, whilst others place temporal and location requirements upon applicants; some require English language, health and security tests, others do not; some secure results in days, others in years.

 

“Understand which options provide the best possible chance of success is difficult, and the services of a Registered Migration Agent (RMA) qualified in Migration Law and Practice and regulated government or a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor often proves invaluable,” said Maurene Horder, CEO of the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA), the peak body representing migration advice professionals, including Education Agents. “All our Agents comply with the highest standards of ethics and behaviour, maintain up to date knowledge through rigorous continuing education requirements and are committed to helping their clients in every undertaking and in providing clarity in an obscured visa landscape.”

 

This is especially valuable as the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has spent the past 12 months significantly altering its linchpin General Skilled Migration (GSM) program. During recent years, this has become an oversubscribed program, which led to major changes from February 2010, with the government ceasing about 20,000 prospective GSM migrants’ applications, reducing the program’s Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and instituting a more difficult Points Test.

 

These actions left many potential migrants and overseas students without a preferred path to residency and has been a game changer in terms of the mix of migrants and visitors coming into the country.

 

For those who cannot qualify for highly sought after but sometimes difficult to achieve Business Person visa types (including investors, owners and the like), windows of opportunity still remain.

 

Indeed, with its new Points Test, the Australian government laid out a veritable wish list for potential business migrants, including post graduate degrees from local institutions, work experience in Australia and very high English language test scores.

 

Employer Nominated, State Sponsored and Regional Skilled migration programs are all of growing importance, and for those able to find nomination within local workplaces or interested in seeking sponsorship through taking their skills or investment dollars to regional and rural areas, paths to residency and eventually citizenship are readily available.

 

Availability is not the same as simplicity, however, and the degree of complexity of the Migration Program’s regular changes requires up to the minute legal advice and information.

 

While anyone may submit his or her own visa application, and many thousands are successful in doing so every year, that option may not prove the most prudent path. The degree of complexity of the Migration Program’s regular changes requires up to date and professional advice and information.

 

“By using an MIA Member Agent, visitors, workers, students, humanitarian entrants and business people can rest assured that their knowledge and support will uncover and achieve the best possible result.” – MIA CEO Maurene Horder

 

For more information about your migration options see mia.org.au.

 

 

 

Australia – Chile an Attractive Bi-lateral Trade & Investment Relationship

Chile is located in the south-eastern most region of the Americas, with the Andes Mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. The country offers great geographic diversity: the driest desert in the world, Antarctic glaciers, exuberant forests, fast-flowing rivers and fertile valleys.

Chile, like Australia in its diversity has many natural resources, from the large copper exports, equalling USD$3.918 billion in September this year, (up 73.5 percent from the USD$1.66 billion in March 2009)[1], to the wine, fruits, seafood and wood products from the various regions of the country. Following Chile’s reputation as a major export country in both traditional and non-traditional commodities, are the numerous trade agreements with which it has 60 countries around the world.

 

Chile is one of the 21 members of APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation), which is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. APEC membership gives Chile access to over 50% of the world's GDP.

 

Chile is Australia´s third largest trading partner in Latin America with more than 120 Australian companies present in Chile, by far the largest concentration of Australian companies in Latin America.  Australia is also Chile’s fifth largest foreign investor, with investments totalling AUD$1.836 million in 2009[2]. Key sectors of engagement with Australia include: Mining and Mining technology and services, energy (Coal, LNG, renewable), agribusiness - wine & food education, forestry, animal genetics, education, financial services, R&D, innovation, among many others.

 

For these aforementioned reasons and many to follow has rendered Chile as an ideal partner for bilateral trade and investment with Australia. Due to Chile’s macroeconomic environment, along with a strong, pro-business government makes it one of the world's most competitive economies.  The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Chile as the number one Latin American country with which to do business.

 

On March the 6th 2009, Chile signed a Free Trade Agreement with Australia, marking the beginning of a more prosperous bilateral trade and investment relationship between the two countries.

 

The FTA resulted in eradicating tariffs on 97% of existing merchandise trade and by 2015, 100% will be totally liberated. The FTA also gave non-discriminatory access for Chilean and Australian suppliers’ goods & services, placing them on an equal footing with competitors from other countries. The Australian exports to benefit include; coal, plastics, chemicals, heavy equipment, meat, dairy, wine and other agricultural exports.

 

The most recent success story to come from Chile was the mine rescue at Copiapó in Chile's Atacama Desert on the 14th of October 2010, in which Australia played a major role. The involvement of BHP Billiton, Xstrata Copper, Reflex, AMC and Coal Services, under the overall coordination of Codelco, the Chilean national mining company, is symbolic of the strong relationship between both countries, particularly in the mining sector.

 

Chile’s ability to successfully rescue the 33 trapped miners proves they are a world leader in mining expertise and technology, giving reason to why Australia is the fourth largest investor in Chile's mining sector.

 

The future will see the relationship between the two countries grow exponentially in both trade and investment due to reasons best summarised in the World Bank Global Competitiveness Report 2008- 2009; "[Chile]'s remarkable success story has much to do with its sound macroeconomic management, coupled with timely market liberalization and opening to trade, all taking place within the context of a transparent and predictable regulatory framework."[3]



For more information, please contact Ph: +612 9262 5199 E: info@prochile.com.au or visit, www.chileinfo.com, www.investchile.com and www.foreigninvestment.cl/English  

 

 


[1] Central Bank of Chile, www.bcentral.cl/eng

[2] http://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/chile/index.html

[3] World Bank Global Competitiveness Report 2008- 2009


Israel and Australian bi-lateral investments on the move

Israel is a small country renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit, enabling it to quickly transform start-up companies into profitable and competitive companies. This is evident by the fact that apart from Silicon Valley, the highest concentration of high-tech companies in the world is found in Israel.

This spirit extends not only to running independent businesses, but also to patent registration and research collaboration between university and industry. This close R&D collaboration has successfully converted research into successful, profitable businesses.

 

To leverage off the success of the strong R&D sector in Israel, the State of Israel and the State of Victoria established a joint R&D agreement called VisTech, which provides funding and collaboration between Victorian and Israeli companies involved in joint R&D projects. So far VisTech has created 12 projects, with 3 of these projects reaching the commercialization stage.

 

Trade between Israel and Australia has traditionally been strong, despite the vast distance between the two countries. Trade from Israel to Australia has predominantly revolved around hight tech product such as Telecommunication, medical devices, water technology, agro-tech, as well as consumer goods and chemicals with trade from Australia to Israel predominantly being in the agriculture products and energy markets. As a result of this strong relationship, most Israeli homes today are powered by electricity produced from Australian coal.

 

Israel provides the ideal environment to help stimulate innovation. Profit driven, Israeli innovations include a long list of market firsts such as disk-on-key technology, IP telephony, ZIP compression, the ingestible pill-size camera, modern drip-irrigation technology, ICQ instant messenger, and many more.

In addition to the telecommunication and life sciences industry, Israel is also a world leader in water and Cleantech. Since its founding, Israel has been coping with water scarcity and has been treating the subject as a national priority. The country has been constantly developing novel and efficient water technologies, which can benefit the world as it is increasingly dealing with water scarcity concerns.

 

As Australia continues to face the challenges posed by global warming, water shortages, desertification, and water treatment and purification, Israel has a firsthand experience in confronting these issues and is in a strategic position to provide solutions to Australia’s increasing water demands.

 

Many water and CleanTech Companies have already invested in the local Australian market such as Netafim (the largest investment into Australia made by any Israeli company), Amiad, Nirosoft, Odis, Plasson, Bermad, Chromagen and I.D.E just to name a few. These companies all bring the expertise and technology developed by Israel over the past 60 years to the Australian market, offering up solutions to the water scarcity issues posed by Australia’s climate and remote landscape.

 

Looking to the future Israeli Water technologies are looking to diversify out of the traditional agricultural and urban utilities sectors in Australia, and into Australia’s booming raw materials industry such as the mining, oil, coal, and gas sectors. All these sectors seek to benefit from Israel’s knowledge and expertise as they look to find ways to meet the demanding water challenges ahead. In addition, Australia continues to be an attractive market for Israeli investment in the IT field thanks to its world leading projects such as the NBN and eHealth registry.

 

Super-growth sectors worth $250b to build Australia’s ‘lucky country’: Deloitte report
Five super-growth industry sectors worth an extra $250 billion to the national economy over the next 20 years hold the key to Australia’s future prosperity, according to a new report from Deloitte. The report, entitled Positioning for Prosperity? Catching the next wave, is the third edition of the firm’s Building the Lucky Country series, which focuses on business imperatives for a prosperous Australia.

 

Co-author, Deloitte Access Economics’ Chris Richardson said: “As the mining wave continues to deliver prosperity for Australia, albeit at a declining rate, our analysis shows there is vast potential to be tapped in five additional super-growth waves of agribusiness, gas, tourism, international education and wealth management.

 

“Exceptional growth in these five sectors could add an additional $25 billion to Australia’s GDP in 2033 or a boost of about 1% to an economy turning over $2.6 trillion in today’s dollars,” Richardson said.

 

Positioning for prosperity? Catching the next wave includes detailed analyses of the challenges and opportunities for maintaining our current wave of prosperity beyond the mining boom as well as how to make the most of the next five ‘super-waves’, which Deloitte predicted will collectively match mining in terms of their contribution to the Australian economy.

 

“It’s all about catching the next wave,” said Chris Richardson. “Mining will continue as a major driver of our prosperity over the next two decades and beyond. We need to look at how we can extend our ability to ride the mining wave.  Yet success as a nation cannot be built on natural resources alone.  That boom is slowing and our competitive advantage is being challenged.

 

“The reality is that we need new growth drivers. We need another wave – or several – to create more diversified growth. And the first place to look is markets that can be expected to grow significantly faster than the global economy as a whole over the next 10 or 20 years, or by more than about 3.4% per year. For example, global markets for gas, tourism and agribusiness are each expected to grow at rates at least 10% faster than global GDP as a whole.

 

“As history has shown, global growth alone isn’t enough to deliver success to Australia.  We also need an edge, a source of comparative advantage that’s hard for other nations to match, so that the world wants what we have.”

 

The report said five big-picture advantages gave Australia a head-start: world-class resources in land, minerals and energy; proximity to the world’s fastest growing markets in Asia; our use of English, the world’s business language; a temperate climate; and well understood tax and regulatory regimes.

 

Building the Lucky Country co-author and global thinker on growth strategy, Mehrdad Baghai, Managing Director of Alchemy Growth Partners, said:  “The Australian economy grows when Australian advantage meets global opportunity.  The multi-billion-dollar question is: where will global growth and Australian advantage next intersect? That’s where we will catch the waves that will drive our prosperity, today and tomorrow.”

 

Current, next and future waves

 

Central to the Deloitte report is a Positioning for Prosperity map, which assesses where the next waves of prosperity are most likely to come from by plotting expected average global GDP growth rates over the next 20 years against the level of Australian competitive advantage for each sector.  The five sectors which offer both high growth rates and Australian advantage are:

  • Agribusiness: Global population growth of 60 million per year will increase food demand, with Asia’s growing middle classes set to boost their protein intake.
  • Gas: Rapid growth in emerging economies has polluted the air in the major cities to our north.  That will underwrite demand for gas, a cleaner and greener alternative.
  • Tourism: This sector is set to double in size in the next 20 years, with Asia’s expanding middle classes fuelling the growth.
  • International education: Foreign students are already our fourth biggest export earner; with India and China likely to drive great growth in demand in the sector.
  • Wealth management: Three billion people in Asia will join the middle class by 2030 and by 2050 the region will account for more than half the world’s financial assets.

 

These next export waves are the most important growth priorities for Australia, and Chris Richardson said the growth of these sectors would be helped by the retreat of the Australian dollar from its record highs.

 

“We see the A$ settling at U.S. 80 cents in the longer term. This downswing has already begun, and it signals the starter’s gun on new opportunities for ‘dollar dependent’ sectors including manufacturing, farming, tourism, and international education. It will also be a tailwind for interest rate-sensitive sectors, such as retail and housing construction.”

 

As well as mining and the five super-growth sectors identified, the Deloitte Positioning for Prosperity map features 14 other major sectors whose contribution to the nation’s prosperity will continue to be vital. These include big, domestically-focused industries such as banking, health, construction, business and property services, transport and logistics, public administration and manufacturing, among others.

 

According to Chris Richardson: “These sectors all have the potential to generate substantial pockets of export business. Indeed, some of these mainstay industries have served as stable incubators for their high-growth sector offspring.” Agribusiness had emerged from farming, wealth management from financial services and banking; and international education from education as a whole, Richardson said.

 

“In early 2014, Deloitte will release the final version of this report with further research that explores the story of where future growth exists and how business can unlock its potential.” he said.

 

Deloitte Chief Strategy Officer and Building the Lucky Country series co-author, Gerhard Vorster, said business has to take the lead in positioning Australia as a competitive global force in these growth sectors.  “Governments will play a supportive role in managing the challenges of labour markets, providing more efficient regulation and tax regimes and a stable and clear set of policy rules for business, in order to enable growth,” he said. “But ultimately, it is up to business leaders to put in the hard work, to think hard about their own proximity to prosperity and about how best to position themselves closer to these prosperity opportunities.

 

“Our report helps equip decision-makers to hit ‘forward’ and ‘fast forward’ when and where it counts to shape the future for their companies and Australia’s economy,” Vorster said. 

 

“The report includes a range of actions, what we call ‘prosperity levers’, which can help organisations to identify and review their current competencies and structural advantages. How organisations allocate their resources and arrange their mix of portfolios now will determine whether they optimise their growth in the years ahead.

 

“Australian businesses and families can be confident that our opportunities are just as great now as they were at the start of the mining boom,” said Gerhard Vorster. “Our future growth will be more diversified than the past decade and we will have to work harder to maintain the quality of life we have come to expect.  But the opportunities are there to generate exceptional and lasting sources of future wealth for all Australians. The potential payoff is huge.”

 

8 October 2013.

Australian Fintech Opens up Vast Opportunities for ICT Companies

Australia’s development as a leader in Fintech innovation will require concerted effort from government agencies and established financial institutions and will involve partnerships and research collaboration between banks and startups. It will also present many diverse and lucrative growth and development opportunities for ICT companies that will help form the necessary ecosystem for a leading Fintech market.

Data and connection security will be the most significant challenge for Fintech companies in Australia; largely because mobile payments make up the majority of the revenues of all the Fintech segments. Reliable security will be a key issue and an important selling point to ensure success as this will allow Fintechs to build consumer trust in order to grow and compete with established institutions. Australian Fintechs need to partner and collaborate with security vendors and ICT companies to improve the security and connectivity of increasingly mobile-centric financial services and to protect a user’s financial data.

Frost & Sullivan’s study, Fintech in Australia – Trends, Forecasts and Analysis 2015 – 2020 highlights the fact that as Fintech success depends on security vendors; and many ICT and telecommunications opportunities will be security focussed. APAC revenues for cyber security in the banking and finance security technology market are expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.31% over the forecast period of 2015-2020.

Saranga Sudarshan, Research Analyst, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan Australia & New Zealand says, “Established institutions already have large security expenditures, with security systems and protocols built over many years. Attacks against these institutions are highly unlikely and more unlikely to be successful. However, the sensitivity of financial data, unlike any other kind of personal data, will mean security will be a concern at every other stage of a product’s delivery chain.” 

Sudarshan added, “End-user attacks are the highest priority given that the decentralisation of personal smart devices, whether they are wearables, smartphones or personal computers, will make storage of end-user credentials the most vulnerable to security attacks. Uniform security protocols will not be implemented without significant standardisation of operating systems and version updates.”

Biometric security will be the future of mobile security and Fintechs will drive the expansion of biometric security.  Biometric security protects an individual’s financial data and reduces vulnerability to cyber fraud or physical fraud as well as weak or misplaced passwords. Biometric security will make the user themselves the strongest element in a security measure. Frost & Sullivan anticipates that biometric authentication will be the future of mobile security, with extensive biometric security features developed or announced for implementation in all new smartphones over the next 18 months.

Blockchain development for financial services has attracted various ICT companies to develop blockchains with different revenue models. Some companies have opted for a blockchain-as-a-service model, while others have opted to sell cryptocurrencies. Audrey William, Head of Research, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan Australia & New Zealand says, “ICT companies involved in blockchain development include Ripple Labs with their direct partnerships with international banks, and their Interledger project; Microsoft and Ethereum with their EthBaaS, or Blockchain-as-a-Service product; IBM working with Digital Asset Holdings, to develop Business Logic Engines to embed blockchain technology into a business’s exiting transaction systems and Intel is developing blockchain technology with internal trials for the benefit of the Hyperledger Project.”

Analytics is one example of a software suite that is available to Fintechs and established financial institutions. “The cloud computing capability of Watson Analytics presents a possible model for other AI platforms aimed at the financial services sector. AI hardware architecture is the foundation for customised AI software, and Facebook’s Big Sur is an example of an AI hardware architecture that allows Fintechs and established financial institutions to build their own AI systems. Customised AI systems would allow a range of AI solutions to compete in a market of “off-the-shelf” AI Analytic packages,” stated William.

Data centre requirements will be unique for Fintech, and there will be huge opportunities for data centre providers offering tailored co-location services, managed hosting services and cloud storage. The rapid growth of Fintech companies offering personal and business finance will present opportunities for both wholesale and specialist data centre providers. 

Telecommunications companies and system integrators have the opportunity to offer managed services across security, cloud, data centre in areas such as digital payments, blockchains, biometrics and artificial intelligence.