Australia is well positioned as a trade and investment base for international companies doing business with Asia.

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

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$661 billion in 2015–16
  • foreign investment stock totalled more than A$3 trillion as at June 2016
  • inward foreign direct investment stock reached A$735 billion in 2015.
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 www.austrade.gov.au)

1.  Successful Trading Economy
Australia’s export volumes have increased as the strong inflow of foreign direct investment over the past decade has begun translating into new production capacity. The Australian dollar’s depreciation has also supported trade-exposed industries including agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. Total food exports value grew by around two per cent in 2015–16 to A$40 billion. Services contributed A$68 billion to export earnings in 2015–16, thanks to strong growth in education and tourism export values (up nine per cent and 17 per cent respectively).
Download image
2.  Strong Two-way Trade with Major Asian Nations
Australia’s two-way trade in goods and services in 2015–16 totalled A$661 billion, making up about 40 per cent of nominal GDP. Trade with Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation countries remained strong, with a total value of around A$476 billion, or around 72 per cent of Australia’s total trade. The ASEAN region is emerging as a significant market, with total export values reaching A$93 billion, or around 14 per cent of Australia’s two-way trade, in 2015–16.
Download image
3.  Australia’s Top 12 Export Markets
Australia’s integration with the dynamic Asian region is driving wealth creation and overall growth. Of the top 12 export markets in 2015–16, 10 were in the Asian region and all were rated above investment-grade. Their combined value was around A$212 billion, making up more than two-thirds (68 per cent) of Australia’s total goods and services export earnings of A$312 billion in 2015–16.
Download image
4.  High-growth Destination for Foreign Investment
Australia presently hosts more than A$3 trillion of foreign investment stock. Both foreign direct investment and other investment (including portfolio investment) have recorded strong growth, up 8.7 per cent and 10.5 per cent each year respectively since 1996. As a percentage of GDP, Australia’s total value of foreign investment stock reached 190 per cent in June 2016, more than double that of two decades ago.
Download image
5.  Top Destination for Foreign Direct Investment
Australia remained one of the world’s top destinations for foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in 2015, with a 2.2 per cent share of the global stock of FDI. Australia received US$537 billion in FDI in 2015, up from 34 per cent of GDP to 44 per cent of GDP between 2005 and 2015 on the back of continued economic expansion and integration with trading partners, particularly the Asian region.
Download image
6.  Asia a Growing Source of FDI
Australia’s inward FDI stock was A$735 billion in 2015, almost A$220 billion higher than the level in 2010. Traditional sources of FDI such as the USA, the European Union (including the UK) and Japan continued to perform well. The total value of Chinese FDI stock grew by more than A$22 billion between 2010 and 2015 to reach A$35 billion. FDI from the ASEAN region, largely driven by Singapore and Malaysia, has expanded by an average of 10 per cent per annum since 2010 to reach a total combined value of A$42 billion in 2015.
Download image
7.  Positioned for 24-hour Business
Australia’s geographic location bridges major time zones, allowing companies to benefit from ‘follow-the-sun’ or ‘pass-the-book’ operations such as transaction processing in financial markets, help desks, customer service, IT support and other critical services. Australia’s counter-seasonality to the northern hemisphere also offers strategic advantages in food production and agribusiness.
Download image