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Growing the Digital Economy and Maximising Opportunities for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

Joint Research by the Productivity Commissions of Australia and New Zealand

The Productivity Commissions of Australia and New Zealand will undertake joint research to examine priority areas for growing the digital economy, in particular opportunities for SMEs. The joint work will commence in September 2018, with the report to be finalised by end January 2019. The report will be published.


Growth in digital technologies - and availability of the data that supports them - has enabled a range of new business models, products and insights, providing new trade opportunities and opportunities to boost productivity.

At their annual leaders’ meeting in March 2018, the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand commissioned a review into how Australia and New Zealand can work together to remove barriers to growing the digital economy, both between the two countries and into the region, to ensure that the two countries are prepared to seize the opportunities arising from digital transformation.

They also commissioned work to identify opportunities for SMEs to make full use of trans-Tasman economic integration.

Scope of research

In undertaking the research, the Productivity Commissions should explore the extent to which institutional and regulatory settings in the two countries support opportunities for the utilisation of digital technology.

In doing so, the Commissions should consider the ability of SMEs to benefit from trans-Tasman economic integration and digital technology, including barriers to entry or expansion and any factors specific to SMEs that might impede them harnessing the opportunities from digital technology.

The Productivity Commissions should focus their attention on areas that offer the greatest potential benefits to both economies.


Miriam Veisman-Apter 03 9653 2214