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The transition to a global digital economy has been sporadic – fast-paced in some countries, difficult and stunted in others. By the end of 2014, the seven biggest emerging markets were larger than the G7 when it came to purchasing power parity terms. In addition to this, consumers in the Asia-Pacific region have steadily increased their online spending compared to consumers in North America. This means the opportunities to serve the e-consumer are growing – if governments know where to look.

This is becoming evident in the policy changes observed in countries like Australia in recent years. The country is one of the latest to link the future success of the nation’s economy with its ability to work with Asian neighbours and adapt to an ever-changing innovation landscape. Ideas and innovation have always been topics of interest but it wasn’t until recently that the concept of a digital government came to life. And part of becoming one is having an agile, adaptive economy that promotes, nurtures and rewards companies that are changing the fabric of the digital real through ground-breaking products, technologies and strategies.

In recent years we’ve seen a considerable growth in the number of fintech companies Australia is home to. While the country may be branching out and producing good businesses, it is yet to explore the full potential of the fintech industry. When it comes to new technology-based opportunities, Australia is well placed to take advantage of the successes of its Asian neighbours to bring something to the table that complements what its allies can do.

The transformation in Asia, or more specifically – moving away from being a region for low-cost manufacturing – making cheap goods for the rest of the world – towards becoming a major source of global consumers, has been fuelling Australia’s interest in becoming a digital government. Advanced manufacturing, robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI), and precision agriculture are now exciting opportunities for businesses in Australia. As an innovative country full of ideas, its government is prepared to take risks, but as that consumer population, its consumer class increases in Asia, making it ideally placed to continue to be a commodities exporter.

As a result of the technological advances shaking up fintech companies Australia regulates, the digital government will need to adapt, because this could strengthen the country’s efforts in the research, science, precision agriculture and medical sectors in particular.

Australia has been innovating for a while now, improving their processes in order to do an even better job – and that’s really what the focus of transitioning to a digital government to commercialize the financial services sector and the emerging finance technology – or fintech. Australia is fully equipped to compete with its neighbours in the greater Asia region. There is a huge market in the region that is only going to grow and expand.

With Australia’s future in Asia, Australian politicians and entrepreneurs are confident that the success of the nation lies with businesses and their willingness to empower the customer through the transformative powers of the digital domain.

One of the biggest changes the Australian government can make is link into the broader technology in these sectors to really lift Australia’s productivity over the next 20 years, and that is giving customers control of their information. That is the building block that every fintech, precision agriculture and technology company needs to be able to make in order to secure a bigger market segment and ensure continuous, consistent growth.

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