Having the right regulatory settings helps Australia tap into emerging technologies, provides innovative businesses with the social licence to operate as they need, and protects consumers and the community.
Developing flexible regulatory approaches
A one-size fits all traditional regulatory approach does not work – governments need to work with industry, academia and the community to identify the right tools and approaches to address the particular risks, issues and challenges of regulating new technologies.
For example, in the financial technology (FinTech) industry, the Government is creating a defined space to test new products and services without too much up-front regulation. These ‘regulatory sandboxes’ help businesses see if their product works without having to meet current regulations or impacting customers.
Fintech start-ups welcome robust regulation as this promotes consumer confidence and there is an opportunity for Australia to pursue a best practice regulatory approach. This will enhance the potential for global mobility and position Australia as an attractive FinTech hub for international investment in emerging technologies.
With technologies that are still in their infancy such as quantum computing, the Government needs to ensure regulatory settings:
- assist industry–research collaboration
- facilitate the development of supportive ecosystems in Australia
- protect intellectual property and commercial advantage.
Increasing market share
The digital economy provides access to far bigger markets. By getting the international and domestic regulatory settings right, there’s an enormous opportunity to grow and scale Australian businesses on the world stage.
The use of online channels to sell and buy products and services (ecommerce) increases export opportunities for Australian businesses. Platforms such as Amazon and Alibaba mean that even the smallest businesses can access, compete in and export to global markets alongside multinationals.
Internationally consistent standards can help businesses boost efficiency, increase productivity and growth by ensuring technology can be used across borders.
Nowhere is the potential for digital trade greater than in the Indo-Pacific region. In 2017, for the first time, more than 50 per cent of global Internet users were located in the Indo-Pacific. Yet, only 46.4 per cent of households in the region were connected to the internet in 2016. There are vast untapped opportunities for digital trade. Successfully harnessing this opportunity promises economic growth for countries in the region as well as new market opportunities for Australian businesses.
Australia can continue building on its existing reputation in the region as a stable, secure and modern provider of goods and services. Programs like the National Business Simplification Initiative modernise the way businesses interact with government and keep Australia attractive to investors.