Italy and Australia share many strong ties, both on a cultural and commercial level. There is a large Italian community in Australia – around one million residents have Italian heritage. There are Italian language newspapers and an Italian language radio station. The quality of products that are “Made in Italy” is well known and highly respected in Australia.
A large number of Italian companies are also present in Australia, including well-known names such as Ferrero, Leonardo, Eni, Enel and Barilla, just to name a few. Intesa Sanpaolo has been present in Australia since 2012.
Australia is keen to support other Italian and international companies seeking to expand to new markets. The new Global Talent Program offers highly skilled innovators and professionals working in “future-focused” fields such as fintech, a ‘fast-track’ pathway to achieve permanent residency in Australia. This program provides a high level of flexibility and all the benefits that are available to permanent residents. A dedicated contact person is also available to assist candidates throughout the process.
The R&D Tax Incentive is another important program for high tech businesses. Companies that have a business registration in Australia and an annual aggregated turnover of less than A$20 million, have the possibility to access a 43.5% refundable tax offset for eligible R&D expenses. According to EY, 64% of Australian-registered fintechs have successfully applied for the R&D Tax Incentive or are in the process of doing so.
The thriving fintech sector is creating further opportunities for businesses that are registered in Australia. A recent report published by EY found that fintech companies in Australia are continuing to increase their profitability, with median post-revenue growth of 80% in the past 12 months. The study confirmed there is a high degree of optimism among fintechs, as the industry continues to grow and broaden. In March, Australia achieved its first fintech ‘unicorn’, when Airwallex secured a valuation of US$1 billion. EY confirmed Australian consumers are increasingly embracing fintech solutions and there is a stronger collaboration between fintechs and incumbents.
A further indication of the success of the fintech sector in Australia was highlighted in the 6th annual Fintech100 report. Compiled by H2 Ventures and KPMG, the report lists the top fintech companies in the world based on capital raising activity, innovation, size and country; it also lists the top emerging fintechs. Overall, Australia has the 5th highest number of companies on the list, after the US, UK, China and India.
With a strong economy now in its 28th consecutive year of growth, a large and flourishing finance and tech sector, and a positive regulatory environment that is supporting the continued expansion of the fintech industry, Australia has all the fundamentals to offer strong prospects for companies seeking to expand into international growth markets.
For more information about expanding to Australia, please contact Sheralyn Derrick at the Australian Trade and Investment Commission office in Milan at firstname.lastname@example.org