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Business, trade and investment


Economic growth across northern Australia has been strong in recent years, but investment is needed to diversify the economy as the mining boom transitions from its investment phase to its production phase.  The White Paper identified five industries with bright growth prospects: food and agribusiness; resources and energy; tourism and hospitality; international education; and healthcare, medical research and aged care.

Developing northern Australia presents a significant economic opportunity for all of Australia. Through the White Paper, the government will promote northern Australia as our northern business, trade and investment gateway by:

  • attracting greater investment from, and building greater business and education links with regional partners
  • fostering greater innovation and leadership through dedicated R&D, biosecurity and tropical health measures
  • cutting red tape and getting out of the way of business, and
  • more support for small business.

Northern Australia Tourism Initiative

The Northern Australia Tourism Initiative will help tourism businesses in northern Australia to grow, and be more strategic and internationally competitive. The initiative extends both the Entrepreneurs’ Programme and the Australian Small Business Advisory Services Programme to better target the needs of the north Australian tourism industry. More information on the programmes in the Initiative can be found at the following locations:

Northern Australia Investment Forum

The Northern Australia Investment Forum was held in Darwin from 8-10 November 2015. The Forum offered international companies the opportunity to meet with proponents of projects in Australia and to hear from senior government ministers about what is being done to further enhance Australia’s investment attractiveness. Read more at the Northern Australia Investment Forum.

Attendees were provided with a copy of the Northern Australia Value Proposition, launched by Trade and Investment Minister the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP. Read more at Emerging opportunities in Northern Australia.

Simpler regulation

The government is undertaking a number of initiatives to simplify doing business in the north. Learn more at Simpler regulation for Northern Australia

Deeper trade and strategic links with our northern neighbours

The government will foster business-to-business links and improve business enabling environments in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste.

Fostering greater innovation and research in the north

The government is committed to improving Australia’s competitiveness by fostering innovation and research. Learn more at Fostering Research and Innovation