Skip to main content
Business Envoy Digital Trade Edition April 2021 banner image

Australia in a digitised world – a practical, principled and patient approach to Australia’s digital trade transformation

Digital technology offers endless possibilities to improve our quality of life and create new jobs and businesses. Australia, a technologically advanced democracy with a highly-educated population, is well-placed to be a world leader in emerging fields, such as e-health, biotech, digital educational platforms, sports tech, e-commerce, advanced manufacturing and fintech.

Photo of Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan, speaking at Australia’s Services Exports Action Plan launch in Melbourne on 6 April 2021.
The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment launched Australia’s Services Exports Action Plan in Melbourne on 6 April 2021. Credit: DFAT.

Australian businesses can also use digital technology to improve their productivity and improve transparency, such as using blockchain technology to protect the integrity of their intellectual property, enhance the security of monetary transactions and their digital ID.

The Government is supporting Australian businesses to succeed in the digital economy. The Prime Minister established the Digital Technology Taskforce in 2019 to drive Australia to become a leading digital economy by 2030. The Taskforce has helped develop the $800 million JobMaker Digital Business Plan that identifies five pillars to accelerate digital transformation: further upgrade to digital infrastructure, introducing fit for purpose regulatory settings, expanded support for SMEs, improving the digital provision of government, and trust and security. The Digital Business Plan complements our Government ’s $1.67 billion investment in the Cyber Security Strategy 2020.

Our Government is also engaging with the world to establish more robust digital trade rules that enable Australian businesses to take advantage of exciting new market opportunities, increase their resilience along global supply chains, streamline regulatory processes and better manage risk. The Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement came into effect in December. This agreement sets new global benchmarks for trade rules and paves the way for Australian businesses and consumers to benefit from digital trade and the digitisation of the economy. Australia and Singapore have signed a series of MOUs on data innovation, artificial intelligence, e-invoicing, e-certification for agricultural exports and imports, trade facilitation, personal data protection and digital integrity. The Government will continue to explore opportunities to promote consistent and trade-facilitating digital trade rules in our region.

Our capacity to embrace new digital technologies and digital trade platforms will be increasingly vital to our success and continuing relevance in the global economy. This edition of Business Envoy focuses on how the government, industry and businesses are transforming the way we work, operate and do business:

  • We profile Palaris, Australian mining consultants, who embraced digital innovation to help overcome the challenges of travel restrictions caused by COVID-19.
  • Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy Senator the Hon Jane Hume provides more details about these initiatives in her article ‘Innovating Australia ’s Digital Economy ’ .
  • The Export Council of Australia puts forward its vision for digitally facilitated global value chains.

I extend my appreciation to the contributors and hope you enjoy this digital trade edition of business envoy and find inspiration for your own business.

The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment

Image of a satellite floating above earths atmosphere.
How South Australia is using Australian digital technology and locally-made satellites. Credit: Inovor Technologies.
Back to top