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Australia to plow A$1.1 billion into switch from mining to tech

SYDNEY Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday unveiled a A$ 1.1 billion ($ 806 million) package to boost innovation in Australia, utilizing his 1st significant financial policy statement given that becoming leader to map out a pathway beyond the country’s fading sources boom.

The plan’s incentives incorporate reductions in the capital gains tax for startups, generous income tax rebates for retail investors, changes to bankruptcy laws to encourage far more danger-taking by entrepreneurs and immigration alterations to lure prime talent.

“We have to operate swiftly and nimbly and government has to lead the way,” said Turnbull, a multimillionaire and former tech businessman. “The concepts boom is the next boom for Australia.”

Australia faces a challenging transition with the winding down in the investment phase of the lucrative mining boom that has sustained its economy for a lot more than a decade.

The production phase of the sources boom has a whilst to run, with coal and iron ore remaining the country’s greatest exports, but Australia is falling behind other economies that are far more aggressively promoting higher-tech exports.

Australia consistently ranks last or second-final amongst OECD countries for company-study collaboration, information from the organization of industrialized countries shows. Its appetite for danger is also reduced than comparable countries, which means Australian startups and early-stage companies typically fail to attract capital to grow.

Australian software firm Atlassian, the firm behind project management software JIRA and group communication app HipChat, triggered waves earlier this year by deciding to list in the United States. Atlassian is anticipated to raise up to $ 370 million in one particular of the biggest tech business offerings in the United States this year.

“Businesses that embrace innovation … are more competitive, more capable to develop marketplace share and far more probably to enhance their employment,” Turnbull said. “Much more jobs, more development.”

The new measures consist of establishing an industry-led Cyber Security Development Centre to grab a slice of a marketplace the government says is worth a lot more than A$ 97 billion and developing at eight percent a year.

A new entrepreneur visa is developed to attract revolutionary talent while a Biomedical Translation Fund is aimed at getting ideas from the laboratory to market.

Turnbull’s approach contrasts with his predecessor, Tony Abbott, a huge supporter of the mining industry who was replaced in a September celebration coup.

Turnbull announced a A$ 200 million innovation fund to assistance startups and to be run by the government-backed Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, whose funding Abbott tried to cut drastically in his first budget in 2013.

($ 1 = 1.3641 Australian dollars)

(Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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