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Business SA’s Migration for Business Growth program hosted a recent forum to gather feedback on the public discussion paper released back in January 2011 by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) regarding the Business Skills Visa Program and the current review that is being undertaken.

Around 20 stakeholders from the South Australian business community, including brokers, exporters and service providers, attended the forum to provide their views and suggestions on how the current program could be improved.

Business SA Chief Executive Officer, Peter Vaughan, said Business SA welcomed efforts to simplify the visa classification system, reduce red tape and increase efficiency while ensuring the integrity of the visa program.

“Given our role as the voice of business in South Australia and the importance of business growth, investment and innovation in our State, Business SA has a strong interest in policies and programs that affect business and the migration program,” Mr Vaughan said.

“We support the continuation of the business skills visa program, but with a shift to a quota based State/Territory program. This will allow better dispersal of business migrants and allow States or Territories to nominate industry sectors and investment targets.”

Other recommendations include improved selection criteria, ensuring compliance requirements support program goals, providing continued support to new business migrants and the imposition of conditions on post permanent residency visa holders to ensure continued business activity within the State.

“Business migrants come to our State with expertise and finance ready to invest, increase business activity and also create new employment opportunities,” Mr Vaughan said.

“This means business migration is very important for the continued economic growth of our State.”

Business SA’s Migration for Business Growth is funded by the State Government’s Department of Trade and Economic Development. The program connects business migrants with the South Australian business sector through initiatives that include business matching, networking, and information sessions.

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