Hicksons Lawyers says COVID-19 has increased Australia’s appeal for international businesses


Hicksons Lawyers calls for the formation of a consortium of professional advisors to support companies looking to Australia as an attractive place to do business.

The quick and decisive action taken by the Australian government, states and territories, to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic has been invaluable in kickstarting the economy. In particular, many on-shore businesses have recommenced production, shipments and service delivery while international competitors remain hamstrung by the pandemic.  

According to Hicksons Lawyers, this has not gone unnoticed by overseas companies, with renewed interest from international firms looking to establish or expand operations in Australia, which will further aid Australia’s economic recovery.  

Stewart Cameron, managing partner, Hicksons Lawyers, said, “The Australian federal and state governments have been able to minimise the impact of COVID-19 by limiting community transmission so the economy could restart faster. These actions have put Australia in a prime position to facilitate a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery on a national scale, and organisations, both Australian and international, are looking to leverage this.

“While traditionally the cost of doing business in Australia has been hefty, making it sometimes unattainable for global companies, consideration will be given to the cost of not being able to do business at all due to the ongoing repercussions of COVID-19 and other potential future global crises. Australia is primed to be a place where businesses can continue to operate and thrive.”

According to Hicksons Lawyers, a consortium of specialist local professional services firms would be invaluable in facilitating offshore businesses looking to expand into or relocate to Australia following the pandemic. This type of all-encompassing advice, local know how and connections, is critical in helping Australia to take advantage of this unique window in time, which could have large, long-term benefits to the national economy.

Stewart Cameron said, “Although many multi-national organisations that move or expand into Australia have international advisory teams, access to local contacts and networks helps a company navigate through start-up and governing processes as quick and seamlessly as possible. The benefit of having a consortium of local professional services advisors is that they really understand the local laws, regulations and tax compliance obligations, for example.

“Australian professional services firms could also benefit from creating international connections with other advisory firms and establishing relationships with worldwide clientele.”

According to Hicksons Lawyers, the need to build a coordinated industry approach to attracting international firms is vital.

Stewart Cameron said, “State and territory borders re-opening and restarting industries have bolstered Australia’s economy, pulling the nation out of a recession faster than anticipated.  The Trans-Tasman Safe Travel Zone with New Zealand also provides an advantage for industries as it resumes travel, immigration and migration opportunities, and expands the workforce talent pool.”

The Australian Government is looking to attract businesses and talent to the country through its Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce, created as part of the JobMaker plan. International businesses will be lured to Australia and exceptional talent will be encouraged to call Australia home under a new initiative to support the post-COVID recovery and boost local jobs.[1]  

Stewart Cameron said, “All the elements we need to make Australia a global economic success story, beyond what it has been already, are there. What we need now is alignment and focus between government, Australian professional services firms and the international business community seeking to engage them.”

[1] https://www.trademinister.gov.au/minister/simon-birmingham/media-release/new-taskforce-create-jobs-attracting-business-and-talent-australia