Boosting services exports with DFAT

Castlepoint was recently invited to participate in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Services Exports Roundtable at Parliament House, hosted by the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham.  The session discussed the recent Boosting Services Exports Report, and the Industry responses to the Department’s key discussion points.

One of the findings in the Report relates to regulation:

Regulatory differences: The impact of regulatory differences varied to some degree for
professional service businesses, largely depending on the need for recognition of accreditation or
qualifications. Many professional services (particularly smaller businesses like independent
translators or consultants) reportedly had little to do with any regulation in either Australia or the
export market, and found their services easily exportable. This contrasted with the experiences of
many of the more ‘regulated’ professions, particularly where there is a governing body (like
architects, engineers or accountants), who were noticeably more strongly affected by differing
standards and requirements

This is a topic especially relevant to Castlepoint. Our regulation-as-code model includes rules (Acts, Regulations, Codes of Practice and Policy) requirements from all jurisdictions, in support of international clients. But this is also especially critical for Australian businesses and government entities who wish to provide services to, or domicile data in, overseas markets. The knowledge economy is a growing sector in Australia, but IT companies are particularly affected by data governance rules:

Regulation: Some IT services who worked more with online services or platform development noted
the change in the regulatory environment with regard to data management and data
privacy/protection in recent years e.g. the introduction of EU rules relating specifically to the
protection of digital data (i.e. the General Data Protection Regulation introduced in 2018). Many
foresaw this as the start of a new trend that would arise in other developed markets, that will require
time and effort from their business in the future. Some of these businesses expressed considerable
concern about the differences in the laws governing data privacy and storage in Australia and
recalled a few clients (from more data conscious markets like the EU and Hong Kong) who
expressed unease in keeping data in Australia as a result. These concerns were thought to have
intensified following the passing of Australia’s encryption legislation in December 2018.

We need to ensure that our innovations in records, information and security management are built, from the ground up, to support international obligations if we want to provide an effective solution for the future.