Hong Kong Chamber: A Letter from Canberra (Oct 2015)

Innovation boosts productivity, creates more and better jobs, enhances competitiveness and grows an economy.

From 1964 to 2005, 65 per cent of Australia’s economic growth per capita came from improvements in capital and labour – thanks to innovation. 

Yet, Australia has one of the lowest rates of start-up formation in the world. Less than one in two Australian firms identify themselves as innovators. And just 1.5 per cent developed “new to the world” innovations in 2011, compared to between 10 to 40 per cent in other OECD countries. 

What’s worse, more than 60 per cent of Australian innovators kept innovations within the company.

As a result, some of our best and brightest are moving overseas to places like Hong Kong and Singapore to start their own businesses.

If Australia is to remain a prosperous and competitive nation in a digital future, something needs to change.

And the Federal Opposition acknowledges this. Over the last two years, we have created a suite of policies that will drive a new generation of innovators, risk-takers and wealth-creators.

Our policies include:

  • creating a Startup Year at universities so students can develop their ideas, get business know-how and connect with finance
  • creating two new visa classes to attract the best global entrepreneurial talent to help build Australia’s growing startup ecosystem
  • creating a new platform for government to engage our best and brightest minds in solving public policy problems, based on the US Government’s challenge.gov
  • establishing an Innovation Investment Partnership, which brings together venture capital, superannuation funds and startup stakeholders to identify and overcome barriers to investment and
  • developing a National Digital Workforce Plan

 

Australians are bright and creative and we’re not afraid to take risks. It’s up to government to create the right environment for innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish.

The future of our nation depends on it.

 

And to those talented Australian expatriates living in Hong Kong, we want you back.

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