Attracting investment capital is key: advisory report

Source: Markus Winkler from Unsplash.

// Leading industry advisors recommend removing barriers and reducing regulatory complexity to attract investment overseas…

According to a recent report from the Australia as a Financial & Technology Centre Advisory Group, startups and the early-stage segment of venture capital are in desperate need of funds, with statistics showing that the number of early-stage funding deals in Australia has declined from around $320 million in 2016-17 to $120 million in 2018-19. 

In response to these concerning numbers, the report has made 15 key “simple and actionable” recommendations that create better incentives to attract investment from Asia to help boost the Australian economy and improve global competitiveness.

The group conducting the report comprises of leading industry advisors including wealth funds manager, Atlas Advisors Australia.

They convened with Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg in August 2020 to advise the Federal Government on the best path forward for (1) how to attract Asia-Pacific businesses to base their headquarters in Australia as opposed to elsewhere, and (2) how to make Australia more globally competitive in Financial Services.

Executive Chairman of Atlas Advisors Australia, Guy Hedley congratulated Mr Bragg on the Advisory Group report. 

“The principles set out within are critical to guiding the future of Australia’s economy. Most importantly this means removing barriers to business growth and attracting business, investment and expertise to help drive industry and innovation.”

Guy Hedley, Executive Chairman of Atlas Advisors Australia

Among the 15 recommendations, Mr Hedley said reforming the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) program was key to Australia’s competitiveness in attracting wealth and investment from prominent business people in destinations such as Hong Kong.

More specifically, changes to the SIV regime in 2015 had strict requirements regarding what the money is invested in (for example, in order to receive a SIV you had to invest at least A$1.5 million in approved managed funds which invested in emerging companies).

The report argues that the Government should be less focussed on mandating such specific requirements, and instead lay greater emphasis on job creation.

The report recommends simply henceforth that applicants demonstrate a plan to create at at least 5 new jobs in Australia, and have a basic level of English proficiency.

“Venture capital is critical to growing Australia’s next generation of internationally competitive employers. The Significant Investor Visa program could be the driving force behind Australia’s ailing venture capital sector, having already contributed more than $11 billion in direct investment to Australia so far.”

Guy Hedley

“Wealthy migrant businesspeople can provide the investment and expertise to help build local businesses, industries and employment. These people bring unique expertise and experience to Australia with a multiplier effect on domestic employment,” concluded Mr Hedley.


The full report is available online here.