Investment and innovation must take centre-stage
Thursday 30 January 2014
The 2014-15 federal budget will be the first comprehensive opportunity for the Government to demonstrate its commitment to ensuring Australia is ‘open for business’ by delivering a policy agenda directed at boosting domestic and foreign investment in Australian businesses, according to the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCAL).
In lodging its pre-budget submission to the Government today, AVCAL highlighted the urgent need for policy reforms that will bolster Australia’s international competitiveness and productivity base, and create a more responsive and dynamic economy that is equipped to meet the challenges we will confront in the future.
“This year’s federal budget has to be focussed on re-building Australia’s reputation as having a stable policy environment in which to engage in business, and a big part of that is about restoring certainty and confidence in our policy-making process,” AVCAL Chief Executive Yasser El-Ansary said.
"The Government should take decisive action in this year’s budget to remove roadblocks that act as a ‘handbrake’ on domestic investment in Australian businesses, and also capitalise on the opportunity for us to attract more foreign investment into our economy,” according to Mr El-Ansary.
AVCAL has set out a number of policy recommendations in its pre-budget submission for 2014-15, which has been framed against two key themes of encouraging more investment in Australian businesses and promoting a long-term innovation policy framework.
“There are clear signs now that Australia is falling further behind every year in the global race for innovation investment. At the World Economic Forum recently we heard that access to venture capital in Australia is worse than any other region in the world – except for Africa and the Middle East,” said Mr El-Ansary.
“We have to get on with the job of re-positioning Australia’s economy as an internationally competitive ‘knowledge nation’ that is capable of building on our track-record of delivering world-class ideas and innovations. The policy reforms that will help make this happen are very clear; we just have to get on with the task of doing something about them,” Mr El-Ansary added.
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Author: Adrian O’Shannessy, Director, Greenwoods & Herbert Smith Freehills
Author: Dr Kar Mei Tang, Head of Policy and Research, AVCAL