Dynamic Industries

Australia has achieved significant global success in the energy and resources, agribusiness, education, tourism and financial services industries.

The country is also developing and commercialising new disruptive technologies in a range of sectors, including agriculture, education, financial services and healthcare.

Australia is renowned for its resources sector, upon which Asia continues to rely to help fuel its industrialisation. Australian agricultural commodities and premium food are in high demand worldwide, as are its tourism, education, wealth management, healthcare and professional services.

Australia is:

  • the world’s largest producer of gold, iron ore and uranium
  • a major global producer of agricultural commodities
  • a leader in investment management, with the sixth largest pool of funds under management in the world
  • the world’s third most popular destination for students
  • the seventh 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 five key reasons for investing in Australia – Robust Economy, Dynamic Industries, Innovation and Skills, Global Ties and Strong Foundations – 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 major producer of in-demand agricultural commodities, premium food and natural resources. The nation is a leading destination for international tourists and students in tertiary education. It also has large, expanding, sophisticated financial markets, including the world’s sixth largest pool of managed fund assets.
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2.  A leader in new technologies
Australia’s transition to a services-based economy is driving the development of new technologies in agriculture, education, financial services and health, among other sectors. This includes the use of blockchain in finance, immersive simulation technologies in education, robotics in medical procedures and the Internet of Things in agriculture.
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3.  Abundant reserves of mineral and energy resources
Australia’s natural resources continue to be a vital contributor to the nation’s wealth. It has the world’s largest resources of iron ore, gold, lead, zinc, nickel, rutile and zircon, as well as the second largest bauxite, cobalt, silver and copper reserves. Australia also has the world’s largest uranium reserves and the second largest brown coal deposits, enabling it to play an important role in supplying the world’s energy needs.
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4.  Leader in mineral and energy exports
Proximity to the resource-hungry markets of Asia underpins Australia’s position as a major global exporter of mineral and energy resources and products. From 2002–03 to 2017–18, Australia’s total resources and energy exports are estimated to have increased more than four-fold to almost A$230 billion, with the majority going to Asian countries. Steady 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 over 15 per cent of Australia’s total electricity generation in 2016–17. Over the past decade, the amount of energy generated by wind and solar sources has grown significantly, leveraging Australia’s natural advantages. Electricity generation from wind and solar power sources accounted for half of Australia’s renewable energy generation in 2017, up from 13 per cent 10 years ago.
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6.  Top agribusiness and food exporter
Australia’s food and fibre exports were worth more than A$50 billion in 2017. Nine of the top 10 destination markets (63 per cent of total food exports) were located in Asia. The Brookings Institution forecasts Asia’s middle-class consumers to number approximately 3.5 billion (two-thirds of the world’s total) by 2030. Australia’s proximity to Asia and reputation as a safe and reliable source of quality produce ensure it is well placed to capitalise on this growth.
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7.  Clean, green and safe source of agribusiness and food
Demand for Australia’s agricultural commodities drives the country’s export trade in high-value branded premium products. Australia is a major global producer of beef, wheat, wool, wine, barley, lamb, raw cotton, sugar, canola, live feeder/slaughter cattle and chickpeas. Beef and wheat are Australia’s two largest agricultural exports as well as its two largest agricultural commodities in terms of production value.
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8.  Strong, sophisticated financial markets
Australia has deep and liquid financial markets, including the world’s sixth largest managed fund assets pool, eighth largest foreign-exchange market and ninth largest stock market. 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$8 trillion financial sector
Australia’s mature financial services sector has estimated assets of around A$8.5 trillion (US$6.3 trillion) – over four-and-a-half times the country’s nominal GDP as at June 2018. On average, the sector has grown 9.4 per cent a year over the past two decades, well above the average nominal GDP growth rate of 5.9 per cent. The strength of the financial services 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.  A top destination for education and skills training
Australia is the third most popular destination in the world for foreign students enrolled in higher education. Australia attracted over 623,000 international students in 2017, including higher education, vocational education and training, English language, and schools. International education contributed over A$30 billion to the Australian economy in 2017, with both student numbers and export value in their fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth.
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11.  Major tourism destination
Australia is the world’s seventh largest international tourism market based on its 3.1 per cent share of global tourism receipts (US$42 billion out of US$1.3 trillion). Australia benefits more from the contribution of tourism receipts as a percentage of its GDP than nations such as the USA, France, UK, Italy, China and Japan. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that tourism contributed 3.2 per cent to Australia’s total GDP (or A$55 billion) in 2016–17.
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12.  Record levels of international tourism expenditure
In 2017–18, Australia experienced record inbound tourism expenditure, led by strong growth from China, India, South Korea and Indonesia. Collectively, the tourism expenditure of the top 10 Asian markets (including New Zealand) grew by almost seven per cent to A$24 billion – totalling more than half of Australia’s tourism receipts.
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