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Speech at Infosys Sydney

Sydney

21 November 2018

(check against delivery)

It’s terrific to join you here today, on behalf of the Prime Minister, for this very significant, and very exciting announcement by Infosys.

Infosys is of course a global leader in consulting, digital technologies and outsourcing solutions, with a strong presence in Australia.

One of the aspects of your business that sets you apart is your commitment to your employees.

You are well known for nurturing an environment across your organisation that encourages the development of staff, responds to their continuing learning needs, and puts a high value on gaining and sharing digital knowledge and skills.

It starts with your InStep internship program that attracts the top technology graduates from around the world, including Australia – some of whom are with us today, and part of the cohort of twelve hundred employees who will be joining Infosys Australia by 2020.

To secure Australia’s international competitiveness, we need to develop the digital skills of our workforce across all industries – our capabilities in artificial intelligence, data science, automation, cyber, blockchain, the cloud, the Internet of Things.

We need to increase STEM participation and performance among our school students, and our young women and men who will be our next generation of tech professionals.

And we need to position Australia as a strengthening knowledge-based economy, increasingly recognised for our multi-sector digital skills.

We need to do these things because we know that leading-edge technologies applied in mining, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, retail and multiple other sectors drive innovation, growth, jobs and spill-over benefits throughout the Australian economy.

The Infosys recruitment will contribute substantially to building this capability, and in a timeframe that’s well within reach.

As will the other aspect of the investment you’re announcing today: to establish three technology and innovation hubs in Australia, also by 2020.

Just as we need to equip individuals with the digital skills to tackle changing work demands, businesses too need to be alert to how new technology platforms can create new capabilities:
-         that can be commercialised through new products and services
-         and can lead to new business models and new ways for suppliers and customers to engage in the supply chain.

Forecasts show that businesses prepared to embrace digital transformation have the potential to add an extra $66 billion to Australia’s GDP over the next five years.

Bringing together entrepreneurs, mature businesses, researchers and universities, suppliers, management, financiers, and so on—allows hub partners:
-         to build on their strengths, their local track record, and their common purpose,
-         to provide leadership
-         and to share in the collective benefits.

The Coalition Government is committed to its own vital role:
-         in ensuring a business environment that is favourable to these dynamic, cross-discipline, cross-sector partnerships forming and thriving;
-         and in ensuring that Australia is at the forefront of the global knowledge economy.

In the Budget, the Coalition Government announced an investment of nearly $30 million to support Australia’s AI capability to support business innovation and growth and create jobs for the future.
 
We are finalising the digital economy strategy that builds on extensive consultation with hundreds of industry, government, and community stakeholders.

The strategy recognises the role of government, businesses and individuals in shaping our digital future.

It builds on existing initiatives by the Coalition Government and the private sector including in infrastructure, cyber security, digital trade facilitation and delivery of digital services.

We all have a part to play in the digital economy, in how we adjust to it, embrace it, and make an enduring success of it.

I congratulate Infosys for your leadership and investment.

Media contact: Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070