Competition for the world’s best minds and fresh capital emerged as a dominant theme during two days of public hearings of the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology in Sydney.
This is the second phase of the Select Inquiry following the Interim Report in September 2020.
Committee Chairman Senator Andrew Bragg noted Australia is on the case and cited the Peter Verwer led Global Talent and Investment Taskforce and the recently released “Low Report” designed to attract more Asia-Pacific headquarters to Australia.
Senator Bragg said phase two of the committee is all about attracting brains and investment to Australia to create new jobs.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do business to Australia’s advantage,” Senator Bragg said.
“Australia’s geographic position is no longer a disadvantage following the pandemic and the opportunity for growth in tech is now enormous,” he said.
“There is an ongoing need to drive capital and the best people into Australia. For example, we could consider a USA style trading plan which is said to promote investment in technology,” he said.
“Equally we must consider how the new tech world plugs in offshore: data sharing regimes like the Consumer Data Right and the blockchain agenda must link into offshore systems. Competitiveness must be our mantra.”
Senator Bragg said there are many tax and regulatory barnacles which hold Australia back relative to our competitors in Singapore, Hong Kong and the US.
Despite the optimism, Senator Bragg warned it won’t be all smooth sailing.
He said there are issues confronting the sector which must be addressed like access to capital, ongoing tax issues and a fair deal for retail shareholders.
Senator Bragg noted the issues in the technology policy space are dynamic and diverse. The job before the committee is to agree upon the most important remaining issues before the Committee concludes in April.
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