Global Ties

As a globally integrated economy, Australia is a trusted economic partner globally and plays an integral role in Asia’s dynamic growth.

Australia’ experience and trade agreements facilitate the smooth flow of goods, services and investments with major economies across Asia, Europe and North America. 

International companies can tap into Australia’s deep business and cultural ties with Asia and longstanding links with Europe and North America to expand into or enter global value chains.

Australia has an open trading economy where:

  • 10 of the country’s top 12 export markets are within the Asian region
  • two-way trade in goods and services totalled A$673 billion in 2015–16
  • foreign investment stock totalled more than A$3 trillion as at June 2017
  • inward foreign direct investment stock reached A$796 billion in 2016.
Top 5 trading partners: China, USA, Japan, South Korea, UK

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

Australia's Top 12 Exports
1.  Australia’s Top 12 Export Markets
Australia’s integration with the dynamic Asian region is driving wealth creation and overall economic growth. Of the top 12 export markets in 2016, 10 were in the Asian region and all were rated above investment-grade. Their combined value was around A$227 billion, making up more than two-thirds of Australia’s total goods and services export earnings of A$330 billion in 2016.
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Strong Two-Way Trade
2.  Strong Two-way Trade
Australia’s two-way trade in goods and services in 2016 totalled A$673 billion, making up about 40 per cent of nominal GDP. The Asian region accounted for 62 per cent of Australia’s total trade in 2016, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.6 per cent since 2006. Nine of Australia’s 12 largest markets – with a total trade value of around A$373 billion – are within the region, reflecting the nation’s competitive location and growing economic ties with the fast-growing region.
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Successful Trading Economy
3.  Successful Trading Economy
Australia’s export volumes have increased as the inflow of foreign direct investment over the past decade translates into new production capacity. The export value of goods and services improved in 2016, with robust growth in mineral and fuel exports. Services exports increased by over nine per cent in 2016 and contributed A$71 billion to export earnings, thanks to strong growth in education and tourism services.
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High-Growth Destination for Foreign Investment
4.  High-growth Destination for Foreign Investment
Australia presently hosts around A$3.3 trillion of foreign investment stock. Both foreign direct investment and other investment (including portfolio investment) have recorded strong growth, up 8.6 per cent and 9.7 per cent on average each year respectively since 1997. As a percentage of GDP, Australia’s total value of foreign investment stock reached 185 per cent in June 2017, double that of two decades ago.
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Large Foreign Direct Investment Stock
5.  Large Foreign Direct Investment Stock
Australia is one of the world’s top destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI) stock, receiving a 2.2 per cent share of the global stock of FDI in 2016. According to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report, Australia was the world’s eighth most popular destination for global FDI flows in 2016 (up from 16th in 2015). The country’s FDI stock continue to grow on the back of stable economic expansion and integration with trading partners, particularly the Asian region.
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Asia: A Growing Source of Foreign Direct Investment
6.  Asia: A Growing Source of Foreign Direct Investment
After a seven per cent rise per year in 2014 and 2015, Australia’s inward FDI stock value grew by around nine per cent to A$796 billion in 2016. Traditional sources of FDI continued to perform well: the USA, Japan and the European Union remain dominant sources of FDI. In recent years, there has been a solid increase in capital inflows from Asia, particularly China and the ASEAN region, reflecting Australia’s close ties to these important economies.
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Services Attract Growing Foreign Direct Investment
7.  Services Attract Growing Foreign Direct Investment
Half of Australia’s A$796 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in 2016 was invested in service-driven sectors. The sectors experiencing the most significant growth in FDI stock between 2015 and 2016 were real estate (up 45 per cent to A$84 billion), construction (13 per cent to A$20 billion) and professional, scientific and technical activities (19 per cent to A$5 billion). Mining and manufacturing accounted for the other 50 per cent of Australia’s FDI stock in 2016.
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Expanding Network of Free Trade Agreements
8.  Expanding Network of Free Trade Agreements
Australia currently has 10 free trade agreements (FTAs) in force with 16 World Trade Organization members. The countries covered by these FTAs account for around two-thirds of Australia’s total trade. With several FTAs under negotiation, the expanding network of agreements will provide a greater range of trade and investment opportunities and improve Australia’s position to take advantage of growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Investment frameworks established by these agreements also support a more attractive and predictable investment environment and help drive further economic integration in the Asian region.
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