Mission findings reports on Australia & New Zealand
The fact-finding mission took us far away, to two countries with a total population count
comparable to that of the Benelux, but much, much bigger in size. Both Australia and New
Zealand are dealing with digital transformation, innovations and startups. This has been top
of mind and has been a real focus in the last three years in both countries.
The challenges that come with that are very similar to Europe's challenges. The availability
of talent for instance, which can only partially be met by a locally trained workforce.
Especially Australia attracts a lot of IT-staff from Asia, or works together with Asian
companies to fill the gap. However, with such beautiful nature and landscapes, there is no
doubt that both New Zealand and Australia will overcome this shortage in staff by attracting
talent from abroad.
Digital Gateway to Asia
The Netherlands, with its excellent broadband connections to the rest of the world and home
to one of the world's largest Internet Exchanges, is close to 500 million customers in Europe,
and therefore functions as the Digital Gateway to Europe.
Australia and its neighbour New Zealand, can both be seen as Digital Gateway to Asia. They
have direct and vast connections, there is a large Asian community in Sydney and Auckland,
many Asian companies are present and there is a lot of collaboration with China. Australia
and New Zealand can also be great bridgeheads to expand towards Indonesia and the
Philippines, two major growth potentials.
Australia main economic activities are centralized in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The
size of (SME) companies is comparable to the Dutch market. Australia has more
infrastructure in comparison to New Zealand, however access to broadband is still
challenging. Current growth of online products and services is held back by the available
The mature Dutch digital infrastructure provides the Netherlands with a competitive
advantage. Dutch services and products might easily fill the gaps in the Australian online market. On the other hand, Australians are open to exchange techniques, business ideals and other partnerships. For Australian companies wanting to expand to Europe, the
Netherlands is the country worth considering. Well-positioned in the heart of Europe, it has a
perfect (digital) infrastructure, a business friendly environment and nearly all Dutch speak
English well. Especially with the current uncertainty in the market caused by Brexit, the
Netherlands functions as gateway into the European single market.
For New Zealand, with its near 5 million inhabitants, the home market is fairly limited in size.
This requires an international orientation, in order for companies to be successful. Almost
every start-up company seems to be aware that the road to success leads through
expanding abroad in a very early stage. To become a scale-up in New Zealand automatically
makes you think and act international.
Therefore, New Zealand is an interesting place to go to; the government is happy to assist
and has developed a customer centric, SaaS focused approach. It is the first government in
the world partly running on Amazon Web Services. It has a strong focus on start-up and
other tech companies. Tech Week is the most important event where the whole industry
New Zealand invests heavily in broadband networks in order to make sure that everyone is
well connected and not left out. This is also a driver for growth of the tech sector. New
Zealand furthermore works in innovative programs such as the ‘D5 alliance’. Together with
countries like Lithuania, South Africa, Israel, South Korea and Australia they cooperate on all
the aspects necessary to grow a healthy tech society, government, digital economy and
Download both mission finding-reports here.