Industries

Australia has the capacity and capabilities to provide high-quality products and services to the world.

The country’s mineral and energy resources continue to power Asia’s industrialisation, and its agricultural commodities and premium food are meeting the region’s demand for clean, green and safe products.

Australia’s services-based economy is also well equipped to provide wealth management, healthcare, education, tourism and professional services to Asia’s growing middle classes.

Australia is:

  • a world-leading producer of gold, iron ore and uranium and the world’s second largest LNG exporter
  • a global top 10 producer of major agricultural commodities
  • a regional leader in investment management, with the largest pool of funds under management in Asia
  • the world’s third most popular destination for students
  • the 11th largest international tourism market.
Globally successful in 5 key industries

Charts from the Benchmark Report

The Australia Benchmark Report provides rich data demonstrating why there is no better place than Australia to do business. The report examines six key reasons for investing in Australia – Growth, Industries, Talent, Location, Business and Innovation – and compares Australia’s credentials with other countries.

Charts can be downloaded and saved as images for use in reports and presentations (when using please reference www.austrade.gov.au)

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1. Globally Successful in Five Key Industries
Australia is a globally successful provider of products and services that are in high demand. The country is a major producer of natural resources, including significant LNG reserves that are about to come into production, and clean, green agricultural commodities and premium food. Australia has large, liquid financial markets, including the biggest pool of managed fund assets in the Asia-Pacific region. It is also a leading destination for education and tourism.
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2. Services Attract Growing Foreign Direct Investment
Mining and manufacturing continue to account for over 50 per cent of foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in Australia by value. Around a third of Australia’s A$735 billion of FDI stock is in service-driven sectors. The service sectors experiencing the most significant growth in FDI stock between 2014 and 2015 were professional, scientific and technical services (23 per cent) and financial and insurance services (20 per cent).
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3. Abundant Reserves of Mineral and Energy Resources
Australia is richly endowed with natural resources, enabling it to play an important role in supplying the world’s energy needs. The country has the world’s largest uranium resources and fourth-largest black coal resources, as well as large gas reserves. Australia is a global top five producer of major minerals including gold, iron ore, lead, zinc and nickel.
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4. Leader in Energy and Resources
Australia’s abundant resources and proximity to Asia underpin its position as a major global exporter of mineral and energy resources and products. From 2000–01 to 2015–16, the country’s total resources and energy exports are estimated to have increased more than two and a half-fold to A$157 billion, with the majority of these exports going to Asian countries including China, Japan and South Korea. Continued growth in the export volume of most bulk commodities is expected to contribute to higher export earnings over the outlook period.
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5. Growing Market for Renewables
Renewable energy accounted for 14 per cent of Australia’s total electricity generation in 2014–15, and is forecast to increase to 20 per cent by 2034–35. Wind, solar and bioenergy sources are also expected to grow significantly, leveraging Australia’s natural advantages. Electricity generation from wind power is expected to almost triple the current rate to account for over 10 per cent of Australia’s total electricity generation by 2034–35.
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6. Top Agribusiness and Food Exporter to Asia
Australian food and fibre exports were worth A$45 billion in 2015–16, with nine of the top 10 destination markets (around 60 per cent of exports) in Asia. According to the OECD Development Centre, the number of middle-class consumers in the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to grow to approximately 3.2 billion (66 per cent of the world’s total) by 2030. Australia’s proximity to Asia and reputation as a safe and reliable source of quality produce and premium products ensure the country is well placed to capitalise on this growth.
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7. Clean, Green and Safe Source of Agribusiness and Food
Australia is one of the 10 largest producers globally for almonds, wool, cotton, lamb, beef, barley, wheat and sugar cane. Demand for Australia’s clean and green agricultural commodities drives the country’s export trade in high-value branded premium products. Beef and wheat are Australia’s two largest agricultural exports and its two largest agricultural commodities in terms of production value.
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8. Strong, Sophisticated Financial Markets
Australia has one of the largest and most sophisticated financial services sectors in the world. The country has deep and liquid financial markets, including the world’s sixth largest managed fund assets pool, and is a regional leader in investment management, infrastructure financing and structured products. The managed funds sector is underpinned by a mandated retirement savings scheme (superannuation system) that has resulted in the fourth largest pension pool in the world.
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9. Australia’s A$7.5 Trillion Financial Sector
Australia’s sophisticated financial services sector has significant depth with estimated assets of around A$7.5 trillion – over four and a half times the country’s nominal GDP. The sector has grown 10 per cent a year over the past two decades, almost double the growth rate of nominal GDP. The strength of the financial industry means it is Australia’s largest contributor to gross value added, one of its highest growth sectors and a significant source of capital.
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10. Asia’s Largest Pool of Funds Under Management
Australia has a large and mature managed funds industry, with total assets under management of A$2.7 trillion (US$2 trillion) in the June 2016 quarter. The country’s collective investment institutions manage about US$1.6 trillion of investment funds. This is the sixth largest pool of FUM in the world and the largest in the Asian region. A major driver of Australia’s funds management industry is its mandatory pension system.
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11. Fourth Largest Pension System in the World
Australia’s A$2 trillion pension (superannuation) system is the fourth largest in the world and a major driver behind its globally significant funds management industry. This investible pool of pension assets is projected to double to A$4 trillion in the next 10 years and to reach A$9.5 trillion by 2035.
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12. Top Three Destination for International Students
Australia is the third most popular destination for students choosing to study overseas, attracting more international students than larger economies like France, Germany, Canada and Japan. Education services are one of Australia’s leading exports, worth A$19.4 billion in 2015.
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13. First Choice Higher Education Destination
Australia is a ‘first choice’ education destination across Asia. The country is a hub for business and technology-related education in the region, with almost 70 per cent of the 363,000 international students in Australia studying management, commerce, engineering or information technology.
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14. Major Tourism Destination
Tourism is a growing global industry. Global tourism receipts have increased on average by five per cent per year since 2010, and accounted for 1.7 per cent of world GDP in 2015. Australia is the world’s 11th largest international tourism market – compared to the world average, tourism receipts contributed more to the Australian economy (2.4 per cent of GDP) and continued to grow at a faster rate (7.4 per cent per year since 2010).
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15. Record Levels of International Tourism Expenditure
Australia experienced record inbound tourism expenditure in 2015–16, driven by strong growth from China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong and other Asian countries. Traditional markets such as the USA and New Zealand also performed well, up 20.0 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively. The outlook to 2024–25 remains robust, with international visitor spending expected to rise by 6.6 per cent per annum to reach A$68 billion (in real terms). China, India and other Asian nations are anticipated to account for the majority of this forecast growth.
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