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Field Updates from Australia

Global Media Inc. and Foreign Affairs, following the successful 2012 report, return to Australia this year, to highlight the country’s increasing importance to the global economy. After nearly 27 years of economic growth, a record run for a developed nation, Australia remains a top 10 destination for foreign investment. U.S. investment has made an incredible impact on the country, adding around $800 million and hundreds of thousands of jobs to the economy.

Tentatively scheduled for publication in the November/December 2018 issue of Foreign Affairs, the Special Business Report on Australia will take a closer look on how the nation continues to grow and develop as a regional and global power.

James Gutierrez and Mikel Zubiri report from the field. Follow their real time updates here and here.


Home-grown Australian companies go global

Entrepreneurship in Australia is often characterized as trade-based and locally-focused, such as small construction, plumbing or accounting operations that service their neighborhoods. Unlike those in the United States and Europe, which are generally technology driven and globally oriented.

With IQ Global Group CEO Dr. George Symalis

Australia, however, has a high number of entrepreneurs. Around 17 percent of its population are entrepreneurs, while in the United States and Germany, that percentage is around 10 percent. As more individuals set up their own busines, the Australian government is formulating policies that aim to encourage entrepreneurs to adopt a global mindset.

An Australian company that has adapted such a mindset early on is IQ Global Group. Founded in 2011, IQ Global has attracted much attention for its business model, which aims to promote Australia as a biotechnology hub by providing scientific expertise and linking the sector to the global investment ecosystem.

According to CEO Dr. George Symalis, IQ Global wants to help Australia’s many biotech companies flourish by providing a wide range of services like, IP asset management, medical and clinical research, regulatory and reimbursement strategy, pharmaceutical sales and even investment banking capacities, such as venture capital, structured financial products and fund management.

“We would like to create very specific financial instruments and address the cost of managing disease, and to create more financial instruments that are pertinent to addressing the cost of clinical trials,” Symalis said.

With Austrade Head of Australia's Nation Brand Fiona de Jong

IQ Global Group’s success hinges on its vision to deliver life science research and development to the mainstream and maximize biotechnology companies’ return on investment in order to introduce medical innovation.

Meanwhile, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission or AusTrade wants to replicate that same change in outlook among Australian startups.

“Australians are quite modest people. As a consequence, we think of building our businesses the size of a cricket ball. What we’re trying to do is encourage our companies to be bold, confident and to think big,” said Fiona de Jong, Head of Australia’s Nation Brand at Austrade. 

With JAR Aerospace Co-Founder and CEO Lochie Burke

AusTrade has shifted its efforts from supporting export-ready, small and medium enterprises only to encouraging start-ups that are “born to be global.” It recently established landing pads in five locations around the world and have set up incubation spaces for startups searching for a location to test their products and meet investors.

Another global company setting the pace for Australian businesses is JAR Aerospace. Founded in 2018, the startup is disrupting the Australian aerospace industry through the development and manufacturing of military-standard drones. It hopes that in the long-term, the company will eventually expand into space exploration.

“Defense is a massive focus for JAR and that will be where we will make a solid name for ourselves. Drones are the perfect place for us to start and progress into space. It’s been a dream of ours since starting and even before that – to redefine Australia’s position in the global aerospace industry,” said Co-Founder and CEO Lochie Burke.

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