08 Oct 2021

The Future of Tech is in Australia: Your Launchpad into the APAC Region

Guest blog: The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) highlights opportunities for foreign tech companies in Australia

Australia’s technology ecosystem is experiencing meteoric growth and undergoing an exciting period of expansion and innovation. The digital technologies sector contributes around A$122 billion (6.6 per cent of GDP) to the Australian economy each year. This figure is expected to grow 40 per cent between 2018 and 2023. The tech industry is now Australia’s third largest contributor to GDP[1], and it is hardly surprising that major global tech companies choose Australia as a key launchpad from which to expand into the APAC region.

Why Australia is Ranked 1st for Tech Readiness

Australians are early adopters and avid users of technology and Australia is ranked equal first for technological readiness alongside Singapore and Sweden. Australia scores highly across all seven components of digital readiness: basic needs; human capital; ease of doing business; business and government investment; start-up environment; technology infrastructure; and technology adoption.




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     Source: Austrade Benchmark Report 2021

Australia is a Springboard to the APAC Region

Australia has become a development testing ground for tech MNCs such as Boeing, Mastercard, Google and IBM. International companies can tap into Australia’s unrivalled integration with Asia to expand into or enter global value chains across the region. Australia has Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with most of the region; 12 of Australia’s 15 FTAs are with Asia. These trade agreements provide a solid foundation for tech industries through best-in-class digital chapters that cover tech trading rules. Australia’s priorities for the digital chapter of the Australia-UK FTA include strong rules on data flows and localisation to provide a secure, online environment for tech businesses and support the growth of e-commerce between the two countries.

The UK-Australia Fintech Bridge[1]

Signed in 2018, the UK-Australia FinTech Bridge strengthens bilateral engagement on fintech policy and regulation, facilitates trade flows and access to capital opportunities, promotes two-way investment and addresses barriers to international growth. The agreement makes it particularly compelling for UK and Australian fintechs to test each other’s market without the risk of an unfamiliar regulatory environment and provides structured support to new entrants.

Revolut, GoCardless, Wise (formerly TransferWise), 10x Banking, Railsbank, Recordsure and Truelayer are fantastic examples of UK fintechs to successfully invest, launch and scale new products and services in Australia. Matt Baxby, CEO of Revolut Australia says: “Australia has a familiar regulatory regime and high quality fintech talent. This makes Australia an attractive market for Revolut’s expansion outside of Europe.”

FinTech Australia has just last month released its fintech regulatory map; the first interactive toolkit of its kind designed to help investors navigate Australia’s regulatory landscape.

Consumer Data Right[2]

A world-first, Australia’s Consumer Data Right (CDR) – introduced by the Australian Government - gives consumers more control over their data, enabling them to access and share data with accredited third parties to access better deals, which paves the way for the development of new products and services. The CDR will first apply to the banking sector, followed by the energy and telecommunications sectors.

Quantum Technology[3]

Australia has world-class quantum research capabilities, ranked in the top five countries overall, and a rapidly emerging quantum technology industry underpinned by the expertise and IP developed in its research institutions. In 2040, Australia’s quantum technology industry could generate over A$4 billion in revenue and create 16k jobs. Australia’s 16 quantum-related companies conduct activities that span technology types, from hardware and software development to consultancy.

If you are a UK tech company looking to expand in the APAC region, look no further than to Australia!


Austrade is here to help: The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is Australia's leading trade and investment agency. We are experts in connecting Australian businesses to the world and the world to Australian businesses. We are the national point-of-contact for international companies, providing market information and insights, promoting Australian capability, and facilitating connections through our extensive global network to help you to establish or expand a business in Australia.

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is proud to be a member of techUK.


[1] The Economic Contribution of Australia’s Tech Sectorhttps://techcouncil.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/TCA-Tech-sectors-economic-contribution-full-res.pdf. Tech Council, 2021

[2] UK-Australia FinTech Bridge: https://treasury.gov.au/fintech/uk-australia-fintech-bridge

[3] Consumer Data Right: https://www.cdr.gov.au/

[4] Growing Australia’s Quantum Technology Industry: https://www.csiro.au/en/work-with-us/services/consultancy-strategic-advice-services/csiro-futures/futures-reports/quantum. CSIRO, May 2020