Standing up for Canberra

Hong Kong Chamber: A Letter from Canberra

About one million Australians live abroad and of that million, more than 90,000 are based in Hong Kong.

Australians are drawn to Hong Kong for financial and business opportunities, its location within Asia, its lifestyle and its strong expatriate community.

And increasingly, many Australians are involved in start-ups.

The latest Digital Evolution Index, which rates a country's readiness for digital growth, lists Hong Kong in the “standout category”.

Meanwhile, Australia is listed as a "stall-out" country.

Australia's start-up ecosystem, which should be designed to match serious investors with smart innovators, is not working as well as it could.

And as a result, talented Australians are moving abroad to Hong Kong, Singapore or the Silicon Valley, to launch their businesses.

But the Federal Opposition has a plan to boost Australia's start-up ecosystem – a plan that puts infrastructure, education, small business, science and technology, innovation and start-ups at the centre of our vision.

Our plan identifies the skills that will be needed by Australia’s future leaders – skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Our plan will invest in:

  • Digital technologies and computer science
  • Coding in every primary and secondary school in Australia
  • Writing off the university debt of 100,000 STEM students
  • Encouraging more women to study, teach and work in STEM fields
  • Reducing the small business company tax rate from 30 to 25 per cent
  • Working with the banks and finance industry to establish a partial guarantee scheme, StartUp Finance, to help more Australians convert their great ideas into good businesses, and
  • Establishing a new $500 million Smart Investment Fund to partner with venture capitalists and licensed fund managers to co-invest in early stage and high potential companies.

We want to build beyond the mining boom to capitalise on the imaginative, caring, productive and adaptive Australian people.

And we want to encourage home our talented expatriates.