Australia Hunts for Global Super Talent as Rule-of-Law in Hong Kong Collapses

Australia Hunts for Global Super Talent as Rule-of-Law in Hong Kong Collapses

A new taskforce will spearhead a global campaign to lure leading talent and businesses to Australia,..

A new taskforce will spearhead a global campaign to lure leading talent and businesses to Australia, capitalising on the post-COVID business landscape and Hong Kongs radically changed legal framework.

Australias low virus infection rate, its democratic system, lifestyle, and proximity to Asia, are all expected to be major selling points for overseas companies and individuals.

The Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce will be a whole-of-government effort that will work across federal and state governments, as well as the private sector, in order to “turbo-charge” job creation and economic growth, according to a media release from the immigration ministers office obtained by The Epoch Times.

The taskforce will be armed with streamlined visa programs and business incentives, and will target three sectors: advanced manufacturing, financial services (including FinTech), and health.

“Australia has always been an attractive destination for talent and investment, but given our relative success economically, from a health perspective, and socially, we will be even more attractive,” Alan Tudge, the acting minister for immigration, said in the statement.

Australia's Minister for Cities Alan Tudge
Australias Minister for Cities Alan Tudge at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on July 9, 2020. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

“We want to capitalise on this and be very focussed on attracting key businesses and global super talent to Australia,” he added. “We will be leveraging our networks abroad, including the Australian diaspora, to help identify opportunities.”

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the taskforce will hope to attract new ideas, skills, and technologies that will sustain an evolving economic landscape.

“With one in 10 jobs already supported by foreign direct investment, boosting investment and getting more global businesses to set up shop here will help drive more jobs and opportunities for Australians,” he added.

The initiative follows a July 9 announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the immigration minister that Australia will begin pitching to “export-oriented” businesses in Hong Kong to relocate Down Under.

It also comes as the countrys National Accounts released on Sept. 2 revealed Australia was experiencing its first official recession in almost 30 years.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Skyline is seen illuminated prior to the Earth Hour 2009 power switch off in Sydney, Australia on March 28, 2009. (Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Kristen Bondietti, trade director at Asia Pacific consultancy ITS Global, welcomed the taskforce announcement, telling The Epoch Times that Australias finance industry already had deep expertise in funds management, and international exposure will only help it grow.

“For financial services, access to foreign capital, skills and technology can help to diversify and deepen investments and expand the range of product offerings in the Australian market,” she said.

Questions over Hong Kongs viability as the regions premier financial hub have emerged following Beijings implementation of its national security law, which effectively undermines the “One Country, Two Systems” legal framework.

Australia faces stiff competition from financial centres in Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo, who are already enticing Hong Kong businesses to relocate.

Salvatore Babones, associate professor at the University of Sydney, and an expert in the political economy of East Asia, believes that while Australia is a desirable destination for talented individuals, attracting regional headquarters is a different ballgame.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
A general view from “The Peak” of Hong Kongs skyline. (Richard A Brooks/AFP via Getty Images)

“Australias chief advantage is lifestyle, and that is less persuasive for businesses than it is for individuals. When it comes to operating as an Asian business hub, Australia is just too far away,” he told The Epoch Times.

“Many Hong Kong businesspeople feel that even Singapore is too remote to replace Hong Kong as an Asian business hub,” he added.

Singapore has long been considered the number one rival to Hong Kong for the financial services crown of Asia. The city has pivoted to compete aggressively for pan-Asian business, including maintaining low corporate tax rates and flexible regulatory settings. In 1981, it even changed its time zone to align with Malaysia, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

“If Singapore finds it difficult to attract Hong Kong businRead More – Source

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