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Investing in Australia

INVESTMENT into Australia from the UK has been growing strongly in recent years.

David Ross, a Partner at Walker Wayland in New South Wales, which is part of the global accounting association BKR International, explains why British businesses are increasingly gravitating towards Australia.

What makes Australia an attractive place to do business?

Investment from the UK into Australia has been growing strongly in recent years and in 2013 accounted for the second highest growth by value of any foreign investor.

One of Australia’s biggest attractions is its location because it provides access to the Asia Pacific Region. Many businesses setting up here also use Australia as a base to operate directly into New Zealand and other parts of Asia. The Australian economy has also shown itself to be quite resilient – we haven’t had a recession since 1991. There is stability in economic growth, underpinned by a stable tax system and government.

Does the Australian economy look favourably upon British goods/investment

Yes, largely due to the strong ties between the two countries. The Australian system of Government is based upon the UK system, so British businesses entering the Australian market are able to adapt quickly. The Australian Government also provides insight and assistance through the Australian Trade Commission ’AusTrade’

Where do the biggest opportunities lie?

The biggest opportunities lie in the service economy. The recent economic success of Australia has largely been tied to the mining sector and associated services. However with the Australian dollar coming down from historic highs, the service sector has grown substantially.  Many businesses in the services field have expanded considerably not only within Australia but also to other Asia Pacific countries via the Australian market.

What is the most important piece of advice you would give to UK businesses?

Understand the marketplace and the customer prior to committing to the market. Whilst we are very alike in many respects, the Australian consumer does have some variances to the UK consumer.  Ensure the structure you have in place is suitable for the local business and will allow for growth and optimum tax consequences. It’s important to have the ability to repatriate profits to the parent entity without having adverse tax consequences both from an Australian and a UK perspective.

What is the single biggest challenge a UK business needs to overcome?

Australia is a 23-hour flight away and in a completely reversed time zone so communicating with and monitoring your business can be difficult. Thankfully modern technology can overcome many of these hurdles. Utilisation of video conferencing and the ability for business monitoring through different means provides an element of control. From an accounting and financial reporting perspective, using cloud based accounting programmes with direct feeds from financial institutions allows for real time reporting to be utilised.

 This article was originally written in August 2015.


26 Apr 17
David Ross, Walker Wayland NSW