Launch of the S&P/ASX ALL TECH Index – Australian Stock Exchange, Sydney
21 February 2020
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Thank you for having me today to ring the bell at the Australian Stock Exchange and commemorate the launch of the ASX All Tech Index.
How exciting is this?! I keep joking that I feel like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City.
I’ve also had Ring My Bell by Collette stuck in my head for months!!
But in all seriousness, this is an incredible milestone for Australia’s technology sector.
It represents seven years of hard work, and I congratulate the ASX and the companies involved on their efforts.
Australia’s tech sector is booming and it is a real privilege as Minister to be part of it.
It’s easy for the media to emphasise the struggles in the tech sector. There’s a great deal of inventiveness and risk involved.
Not every idea is a success. Not every business will become worth millions or billions.
That’s business – no matter the sector.
But what today highlights is the wonderful tech ecosystem we have in this country.
This new Index lists 46 of Australia’s leading tech companies, with an impressive market cap of $104 billion.
They reach across our economy - from logistics and finance to artificial intelligence.
In a little over five years, there have been more than 100 ASX Tech Initial Public Offerings, and in 2019, seven of the 10 highest performing stocks were technology companies.
Tech contributes $122 billion to our economy, and has the potential to generate an additional $50 billion per year. It is Australia’s sixth largest sector, and employs over 720,000 Australians.
Those figures are growing year on year.
Taken together, these numbers show that Australia is open for business.
The Morrison Government is committed to unlocking the limitless potential of technology. The Prime Minister has declared he wants Australia to be a leading digital economy by 2030.
Achieving that ambitious goal means we need more investment in innovative businesses. We need to see our traditional businesses use home grown technology to transform and adapt, and we need to see more Australian businesses go global into new markets.
Technology businesses who list, invest, and base themselves in Australia will help drive our national competitiveness.
And businesses like WiseTech, Appen, Afterpay, Altium and Xero show that tech companies can do more than exist in Australia. They can thrive.
We also know that Australia has a strong pipeline of smaller tech companies considering how and where to raise capital.
The Index creates an opportunity for them to access later stage capital, raise their profile and fuel their growth.
The Index also complements the growing number of venture funds in Australia and strong levels of venture capital – providing an alternate source of finance for new and expanding technology companies.
As Australia continues to demonstrate that we are a strong and safe market to invest - we attract even greater global interest.
Foreign technology companies from the US, Ireland, Israel and of course, New Zealand, have listed on the Index. These companies open offices in Australia, create new opportunities for growth, and create new jobs, right here in Australia.
Just last week Adobe said the Australian market is a priority for the global company and a great growth story for its people.
It has grown its team here by double digits over the last few years and now has hundreds of local employees. It is expanding its offices and investing in new premises.
The All Tech Index will play a big role in increasing the tech sector’s visibility and will make it easier for everyday Australians to invest in tech companies, and share in their success.
The Index will provide diversity for investors and spotlight Australia’s economic potential.
Importantly, it will showcase the ingenuity, grit and perseverance of our tech industry that continues to deliver world-leading technologies.
Days like today emphasise that success is reached when governments get out the way and let innovators innovate and businesses do business.
It’s that well-worn phrase; a hand up, not a hand out.
The tech sector in Australia is something to be proud of and through a shared commitment, we will only see it grow.