Australia launching two more Landing Pads in Southeast Asia

Australia will set up two international ‘Landing Pads’ in Southeast Asia as part of a new trade and investment package that also includes $2 billion in federal government financing for clean energy and infrastructure in the region.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the Landing Pads for Indonesia and Vietnam on Tuesday to “drive Australian technology exports into the region and boost South-East Asia’s digital transformation”.

The Landing Pads, to be based in Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City, will mimic Austrade’s existing Landing Pad in Singapore, which was set up seven years ago using funds from the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

ASEAN leaders meet in Melbourne on Tuesday. Image: Twitter/Anthony Albanese

“We’ve seen, with our first Landing Pad in Singapore, that this model helps business scale up their technology and break into markets,” Mr Albanese told 100 business leaders on the sidelines of the ASEAN meeting in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Since its arrival in 2017, the Singapore hub has provided advice and introductions to 120 companies and delivered 61 “commercial outcomes to the value of $17.5 million”, according to last year’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy.

Southeast Asia’s Special Envoy Nicholas Moore, who authored the strategy, recommended similar Landing Pads be set up in Indonesia and Vietnam, following consultations that showed a need for more federal government support in the region.

“By 2030, the digital economy of Indonesia is projected to be worth US$220-360 billion, while Vietnam’s digital economy is projected to be worth US$120-200 billion,” the report, titled Invested: Australia’s South-East Asia Economic Strategy to 2040, said.

“Despite the technology sectors booming in both countries, Australian technology exports to these countries are currently very limited.

“Landing Pads in both countries could be bolstered by collaboration with partners embedded in their local tech ecosystems, and partnerships with local government agencies, industry associations and accelerators to deliver in-market program services.”

Mr Albanese also used his address to the CEO Forum on Tuesday to announce the Southeast Asia Investment Financing Facility (SEAIFF), a $2 billion investment vehicle to be managed by Export Finance Australia.

SEAIFF will provide loans, guarantees, equity and insurance for projects that “boost Australian trade and investment in Southeast Asia, particularly in support of the region’s clean energy transition and infrastructure development.

Along with the $140 million Partnerships for Infrastructure Program set up in 2021, Mr Albanese said the SEAIFF will “support ASEAN’s efforts to improve infrastructure development… and accelerate regulatory reform in order to attract more diverse, quality infrastructure finance”.

The Prime Minister also announced that 10 senior Australian business leaders will be appointed Business Champions to advocate for “Australia’s trade and investment ties with the countries of Southeast Asia”.

Business Visitor visas will also be extended from three to five years as part of the package of initiatives, while the Frequent Traveller visa stream will be extended to eligible ASEAN Member States and Timor-Leste.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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