United Kingdom, Eurozone and North American businesses considering expansion in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are looking to Australia more and more as an ideal location to establish a base of operation. There are many reasons for the increasing popularity of Australia as a good destination for global growth.

The pros of setting up ‘shop’ in Australia

Australia’s geographical proximity to APAC, strong and growing economy, stable political and legal framework and institutions, and extensive pool and highly qualified workforce, provide not only great business opportunities in Australia itself but the ideal gateway for expansion into the rapidly growing APAC economies for such companies.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank forecast growth in the Australian and APAC economies of 4% to 4.5% in 2023 and beyond outperforming both the Eurozone and the United States. Clearly, Australia and APAC is a region that businesses seeking international growth opportunities must examine.

Australia’s economy and politics

The Australian economy is projected by the IMF to be the world’s 12th largest economy in 2023.  Moreover the IMF expects year on year growth in the Australian economy to remain at 4% for the foreseeable future. 

Australia’s is a trading-based economy characterised by stable growth over the past 30 years with a resilience to world economic events and external shocks that has sent many comparable western countries into economic downturns. Underpinning the resilience of the Australian economy is a combination of its geographic proximity to fast growing Asian markets particularly in minerals, energy, services and agriculture and the degree of diversification across the economy itself.

“a secure base from which to conduct their expansion into the region”

The Australian political landscape is characterised by strong and stable government, a regulatory environment which emphasises the rule of law, best practice in commercial and governance matters and a lack of systemic corruption.

Businesses in the United Kingdom, the Eurozone and North America discover a familiarity with the Australia’s governance and legal system and from that a confidence that it provides a secure base from which to conduct their expansion into the region.

Australia’s global ties and strategic location

The success, and from that the strength, of the contemporary Australian economy flows from the country’s position as a trading nation. The most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics discloses that trade accounts for more than 40% of the country’s nominal GDP. To support existing trading relationships and to provide for future growth Australia is constantly seeking out new trading opportunities. This has resulted in multiple free trade agreements with other nations and particularly in the APAC region.

“a preferred destination of foreign investment”

Foreign direct investment in Australian industries, resource developments and energy infrastructure have been integral to the growth of Australian trade opportunities and the Australian economy. The strength and stability of the Australian economy backed by a robust legal system and strong governance standards continues to make Australia a preferred destination of foreign investment.

A diverse and educated talent pool

Australia boasts a highly skilled and educated workforce across multiple industry sectors. Australia rates at or near the top of world ratings for the proportion of the workforce with a tertiary or skills diploma qualification, the number of universities in the worlds top one hundred, the number and quality of world leading research institutions, and the extent of innovation and best practice in modern manufacturing.

The depth and quality of Australian education and skills training and its global acceptance as among the best in the world has seen education grow to be a top five Australian export industry.

Foreign businesses considering expansion into Australia and APAC know that their human resource needs will more than adequately be met by a pool of highly talented and educated staff.  

Ease of setting up a foreign business in Australia

As a largely open economy which welcomes foreign direct and indirect investment Australia facilitates processes whereby foreign businesses wishing to establish a presence can do so in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Notwithstanding that, establishing a foreign business in another country is often a daunting experience.

Although legal systems, business practices and governance standards are similar, especially to UK and US domiciled businesses, local law and compliance regulations can and do differ. It is essential that businesses wishing to establish a presence in Australia obtain expert assistance to ensure that they are compliant with all local regulations.

“Australia facilitates processes whereby foreign businesses wishing to establish a presence can do so in an efficient and cost-effective manner.”

Some issues that a foreign business seeking to establish a presence in Australia should be asking and investigating (among many others) are:

  • What type of legal structure is required in Australia to conduct the business?
  • Can the legal structure of the foreign business in its country of origin legally operate in Australia and if so, does it need to be registered in Australia?
  • How is a legal structure created in Australia and what statutory authority regulates it?
  •  What levels of government regulate the business and how?
  • What employment law and conditions will apply to new hires?
  • How is payroll facilitated?
  • What indirect taxes may apply to sales and purchases of the businesses (value added taxes and goods and services tax)?
  • Will income be taxed in Australia or the country of origin of the business; what international tax treaties may apply etc?
  • What other local, state and federal taxes may apply to the business?
  • Does the business require local statutory representation in Australia (local director/ local agent) and if so who can perform this  role?
  • What will the above and other services cost?

At UnaTerra we have years of experience assisting foreign businesses set up in Australia.  We provide a complete suite of advisory and compliance services including entity establishment, payroll, accounting, taxation, local director, company secretarial and statutory reporting, and business advisory.  Our goal is to eliminate your anxiety surrounding local law and compliance so you can get on with growing your business.

If you are considering Australia as a viable option for your next expansion move and need more information, you can find free resources in the shape of articles here, and videos here.  And if you need an expert soundboard to answer your specific needs and concerns, you can request a call by getting in touch here.

Author: Riten P, a specialist in Australian payroll, from the wider team of UnaTerra experts

Join our newsletter