Australia's Digital Revolution and The Need For More Business Visas
While the Covid-19 pandemic is not impacting our lives as much, memories of border closures and mask mandates are still fresh. The pandemic has forever changed how we do business. Companies had to restructure their operations and adopt new business models and technologies in weeks or risk insolvency. This is well illustrated by the fact that 5 years’ worth of digital adoption was completed in a mere 8 weeks by Australian businesses. 
We are now in the second half of 2022, and the headlines are dominated by words like inflation, interest rates, cost of living, and rising government debt from the pandemic. It is now broadly accepted that the road to economic recovery, and a balanced budget, is paved with the adoption and implementation of new and developing technologies.
To encourage the expedited adoption of digital technologies, the Morrison government released the Digital Economy Strategy 2030 (the Strategy) a year ago. At its core, the Strategy has two principal goals. First, to establish a commercial environment where opportunities for classic private-public partnerships are more available with reduced red tape and tax incentives. Second, to make developing technologies and the digitalisation of the Australian economy the focal point of said partnerships. Cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Data Analytics, Blockchain, and Quantum Computing are commonly mentioned in the plan.
As stated, the Strategy is a product of the Morrison government; therefore, it is still to be seen if and how the Albanese-led Labor government will commit to continuing the Strategy. The expectation is Labour will hand down its federal budget in October 2022.
Some of the big-ticket items and incentives include:
- Discount on tariffs and taxes for electric vehicles.
- $20 billion investment in low emissions technologies and modernising the national electricity grid for renewable energy.
- $10 billion for industrial and infrastructure projects such as converting three-quarters of the Commonwealth’s vehicles to electric in 3 years.
Under the Paris Agreement, the new government has committed to reducing its gas emissions target by 43 per cent by 2030. In other terms, Australia has 90 months to upgrade the nation’s electric grid and infrastructure before truly digitising and decarbonising the Australian economy. Arguably, this will not be achieved solely through government subsidies and public investment. In conjunction with public projects, venture capital and other forms of private equity strategies will be essential.
We expect announcements from the government in early September after the National Jobs and Skills Summit detailing the government’s vision for the 2022-23 Migration program. The announcement will likely include details about the role Business Innovation and Investment visas will play in the foreseeable future. While already in demand now, the need for business visas is only going to increase in Australia over the next decade.
Have you got valuable business skills and a desire to do business in Australia? Or would you like to invest in some exciting cutting-edge Australian Industries? Reach out to the team at No Borders for a way forward to greater opportunities.
 McKinsey (2020) The Covid-19 recovery will be digital: A Plan for the first 90 days; Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2020) Covid-19 Business Conditions Survey Report; Microsoft and Alphabet (2020) How technology strengthened Australian business during COVID and beyond.
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