Australian PM announces digital business plan to drive economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic

Canberra, Sept 29 (Xinhua) The Australian Government announced on Tuesday a digital business plan to enable businesses to take advantage of digital technologies to grow their businesses and create jobs in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the almost 800 million Australian dollar (about 566 million US dollar) scheme on Tuesday, saying it would facilitate doing more business online in a post-coronavirus world.

Under the plan the rollout of Australia’s 5G network will be accelerated, the digital capacity of the agriculture, manufacturing, mining, logistics and financial services will be boosted.

Australians will be able to start a new business in 15 minutes using online government services rather than waiting days or weeks, according to The Australian report. “This year’s budget will support businesses to recover, build back and create more jobs as part of our economic recovery plan,” Morrison said in a statement. “Many businesses moved online quickly when the pandemic hit, undergoing a decade of change in months, finding new customers or new ways of doing things.

“The Plan supports Australia’s economic recovery by removing out-dated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses and backs the uptake of technology across the economy.” Both Morrison and Frydenberg have flagged that the budget for financial year 2020/21, which the Treasurer will hand down on October 6, will focus on driving Australia’s unemployment rate back to pre-pandemic levels. Frydenberg said on Tuesday that the investment in the digital economy would keep businesses in business and Australians in jobs as part of the economic recovery plan. “The Governments’ Digital Business plan is targeted at building on this digital transformation of Australian businesses to drive productivity and income growth and create jobs,” he said. “Our digital infrastructure package is estimated to increase Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 6.4 billion Australian dollars (4.5 billion US dollars) a year by 2024 and around 1.5 billion Australian dollars (1.06 billion USdollars) of this additional economic activity is estimated to flow to ­regional Australia each year.”


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