A strong and sustainable economy is essential for us to meet the needs of the Canberra community now and into the future. We know that our economy will grow as we are diversifying our private sector and that this in turn will create new jobs.
That’s why the ACT Government, through our renewed business development strategy, Confident and Business Ready; Building on our Strengths, is focussed on continuing to create the right business environment and using our competitive strengths to accelerate innovation and investment.
As a city we have many reasons to be confident. We’ve weathered the storm of the Abbott Government cuts to keep unemployment low, retained our Triple-A stable credit rating and attracted investment from major international companies including IKEA, Qantas and Costco. What is clear is we need to keep diversifying our economy, continue to stand on our own two feet and make sure we play to our strengths as a smart, liveable city.
Strong partnerships between the Government, our business community, our world-class education institutions and the region are also a major focus of this strategy because it is these partnerships that are helping make Canberra a truly international city and knowledge economy.
As part of the first phase of the Business Development Strategy we established the CBR Innovation Network as a partnership between the research sector, the business community and the Government. This is a major nation leading outcome for driving innovation and I would like to publically thank the Foundation Members – the ANU, University of Canberra, NICTA, CSIRO and UNSW Canberra – for their commitment to the Network.
In this renewed strategy we are committed to working even more closely with the higher education and research institutions to deliver a stronger economy for Canberra.
Many businesses would say that the best thing that government can do to help them is ‘get out of the way’. And I agree. That is why we have put in place a strong regulatory reform agenda and have taken action to reduce red tape.
But government can also make a positive contribution to the overall environment facing businesses, particularly in their interactions with government. That is why we have established Access Canberra to simplify the way business is able to access government.
We have also delivered on our commitment to reduce payroll tax and conveyance duties and we are playing a strong role in projecting Canberra to new markets and global talent through initiatives like Brand Canberra, Study Canberra and Invest Canberra.
The Government also recognises that access to government procurement can be a driver of business growth. That is why I’m pleased the renewed strategy includes two new procurement initiatives.
The first is the establishment of the Local Industry Advocate to ensure that ACT Government procurement decisions take into account the capability of the local industry.
The second is the Small Business Innovation Partnership, which will provide local companies with an opportunity to deliver innovative products and services to the ACT Government with a view to developing these products and services for sale to other governments and clients.
In total Confident and Business Ready; Building on our Strengths has 13 priorities and 42 actions that we have committed to deliver. We have committed $11.75m in new funding over the next two years to deliver the strategy.
I believe that the strategy provides us with a strong foundation for the future growth and diversification of Canberra’s economy. I look forward to working in partnership with the business community and the research and higher education sector to achieve our goals.
For more information on Confident and Business
Ready: Building on Our Strengths visit