Alston to rebuild silicon bridge

The federal IT minister will this week attempt to explain the implications of the government's tax reform to foreign investors.

Between November 7 and 21, the minister for communications, IT and the arts, Richard Alston, will visit London, New York and San Francisco in attempt to dispel what is considered to be a worldwide marketplace skepticism towards investment in Australian IT & T industries.

"Even in Silicon Valley you will find Australians are considered the market leaders, but still we are not considered a profitable investment opportunity," a ministerial spokesperson said.

"They would rather invest in countries like Ireland or Israel where the taxation system has been favorable."

Alston will endeavor to lure foreign investment into ventures such as pension funds and other industries believed to have suffered from the "hinderance" provided by the old capital gains taxation system, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson claimed the Ralph report into Australia's taxation system, released in late September, was "damning" to the local investment climate. Additionally, the Ralph report said the previous business tax system was not conducive to foreign investment.

"The old system has been recognised as archaic and outdated, even as far back as the late seventies," he said.

Consequently, Australia has seen a departure in its intellectual property, with experts finding a greater deal of interest overseas, "where the money is", the spokesperson said.

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