Canberra: The place to base and grow your business in Australia and the Asia Pacific

Posted 28 Apr 2017

Story by CBR Canberra

Canberra, Australia’s capital is a city of innovation and opportunity. This city is internationally recognised for an enviable lifestyle, strong, stable economy and business friendly environment.

“Canberra is a great place to live, work and do business. We have a strong economy, a vibrant and well-educated community, and a collaborative and innovative business community. And we offer investors a pro-business culture that is actively supported by the ACT Government.” Andrew Barr, MLA Chief Minister.

Known as the ‘clever capital’, Canberra is home to Australia’s most educated workforce as well as high labour productivity, modern infrastructure and competitive business costs.

Canberra has one of the strongest and most secure economies in Australia with 2016 witnessing a 13.1 per cent increase in the ACT’s service exports and a 3.4 per cent increase in Gross State Product. Consistently strong economic growth has cemented Canberra as a star performer among the world’s most advanced economies.

Big multinational companies are coming to Canberra. CostCo and Ikea are both here, and more recently German Real Estate fund Deka Immobilien invested $135.1 million in a local shopping centre, showing clear confidence in the ACT’s property sector. On a per capita basis, Canberra is Australia’s most innovative and entrepreneurial city. One in ten Canberrans hold a qualification in information and communications technology (ICT).

But it’s not all work and no play in the capital. We are ranked as the world’s most liveable city, with our people enjoying an enviable work/life balance.

In fact, there’s never been a better time to start, grow or transact business in the nation’s capital.

Here are just a handful of reasons why.

Australia’s innovation powerhouse


Did you know that some of the world’s greatest innovations have their origin in Canberra? From the game-changing invention of WiFi to Australia’s iconic plastic banknotes (thanks, CSIRO!) Canberra is the place where big ideas become reality.

The innovation ecosystem that supports new and emerging businesses in Canberra is remarkable; fostering collaboration, growth and success everywhere you look.

Don’t just take our word for it though. Hear from local businesses such as Quizling, automed and SponServe, all of whom value the innovative and connected nature of our city’s business landscape.

Not to mention that with five university campuses scattered across the region, we are one the world’s top places for collaborative research and development.

Our city has nurtured the careers of Nobel prize-winners, entrepreneurs and successful businessmen and women for years and is now supporting the next generation of young entrepreneurs. Canberra is in fact a young city, with our median age, 34, younger than the rest of Australia, 37.

Our location makes doing business easier and faster


Canberra is a region of close to one million people and one of the most diverse regions in Australia, covering the city, coast, alpine and tablelands.

It’s a region that is rife with talent, opportunity and economic strength.

Locating your business in Canberra allows convenient access to the rest Australia. Sydney is only a three hour drive away and you can fly to Melbourne in just over an hour.

Indeed, Canberra’s doors are open to the world, with direct international flights linking the capital to the Asia Pacific region through direct trips to Singapore and New Zealand.

We know what we’re good at


The concentration of intellectual capital in Canberra means we have remarkable strengths and capability in a range of global, high-demand industry sectors.

Let’s start with the space, satellite and spatial sciences industry. With five universities in the region, we are home to two of the most active in space related disciplines in Australia with both ANU and UNSW Canberra conducting research and innovation in the sector, while leading aerospace and defence companies are also located here.

Add to that we are Australia’s defence and cyber security capital, national leaders in renewable energy with a target of 100% renewables by 2020, and home to 18,000 jobs in the private healthcare sector.

Our ICT and digital economy sector employs around 8,000 people, with 1 in 10 Canberrans possessing an ICT qualification.

That’s a lot of numbers, we know. There’s also the fact that the Commonwealth Government is our largest customer in many of these sectors…

We’ll stop now. Find out more about Canberra’s leading sectors and opportunities for investors at Invest Canberra.

Flourishing tourism sector


Although famous as being the Bush Capital, Canberra has evolved into a modern city with world class tourism drawcards and iconic attractions.

The city’s tourism and hospitality sector employs close to 15,000 people across 6,800 businesses and organisations. In 2016, Canberra’s annual international visitor numbers increased by 6.5 per cent.

There are real opportunities in Canberra for people looking to build their careers, or start a business, in tourism. Find out more here.

A pipeline of projects


The future is looking bright in Canberra too. The ACT Government has put in place the largest ever infrastructure investment program to support the city’s growth and to make Canberra an even better place to live, work and do business. Over the next four years, infrastructure projects valued at more than $2.9 billion are being delivered in partnership with the private sector.

These include the city’s new light rail service, a new public hospital and projects that will revitalise Canberra’s city centre.

The ACT Government’s infrastructure investment program will maximise private sector investment to provide ongoing economic development and growth, and ensure that Canberra is globally competitive, sustainable and at the forefront of innovation. Now is the time to make Canberra the home of your business.

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