Strong foundations

According to global measures, Australia outperforms in three key world-of-business metrics: we are one of the most business friendly countries in the world; we have the highest digital standard of living; and our cities have a low cost of living compared to major cities in the Asia-Pacific region. Australian commerce thrives because our economy is resilient. According to World Economic Forum’s 2019 survey, Australia outranks most developed countries for the soundness of our banks. Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had one of the lowest public debt-to-GDP ratio across major developed economies.

Our regulation is transparent and efficient. Resilience is based on the fundamentals – good governance, strong institutions and the rule of law. The World Bank gives Australia some of the highest scores in the Asia-Pacific for the integrity of its legal system. In an uncertain world, this makes Australia a secure destination for foreign investment.

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 & 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)

Key indicators of ease of doing business
1.  One of the world’s most business-friendly countries
Australia is one of the easiest places in the world to do business. According to the World Bank, Australia improved four places to reach 14th position in the world for ease of doing business in 2020. When comparing economies with a population of more than 20 million, Australia now ranks fifth in the world, behind Korea (1st), the US (2nd), the UK (3rd) and Malaysia (4th). Globally, Australia ranks fourth out of 190 economies in terms of gaining credit, and seventh for ease of starting a business.
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Global pension assets, 2019
2.  The fourth most valuable pension assets in the world
Australia’s compulsory superannuation system has helped create the world’s fourth largest pension assets market, valued at A$3 trillion (US$2 trillion) in 2019. As a proportion of GDP, Australia’s pension savings are now the second most valuable in the world. Assets rose to more than 150 per cent of GDP in 2019 – up from 110 per cent a decade ago. With an annual growth rate of 6.6 per cent in US dollar terms, this gives Australia the fastest growing pension assets market in the world. Rapid growth reflects the vitality of Australia’s pension system, a major driver of the country’s fast expanding managed funds industry.
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Business efficiency and environment, 2019
3.  A stable, friendly and efficient business environment
Australia has one of the world’s strongest and most efficient regulatory environments. According to the World Bank, the country ranks highly in terms of economic resilience and the soundness of its banks. Australia ranks lowest in the world for debt dynamics (the change in the public debt-to-GDP ratio); second highest for social capital (social cohesion and engagement, community and family networks and political participation and institutional trust); and third highest for trade openness.
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Worldwide governance indicators, 2019
4.  Good governance and strong institutions
The quality of governance in Australia ranks among the best in the world. Australia’s regulatory environment, rule of law and lack of corruption are all graded highly by the World Bank. Strong governance is key to economic growth and security, providing a drawcard for multinationals expanding their businesses or considering Australia as a base for expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.
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Digital quality of life
5.  Australia tops rankings for digital quality of life
Australia was ranked first out of 65 countries in Surfshark’s 2019 Digital Quality of Life rankings, followed by France and Singapore. The other top 10 countries include Norway, Japan, Canada, Denmark, Korea, Italy and Sweden. Factors contributing to the nation’s prime spot include: strong data protection laws; high content availability; an affordable mobile internet; a fast mobile internet speed; a well-developed e-government system; and a solid level of cyber security.
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Cost of living: City rankings in Asia and rest of world
6.  Australia’s lifestyle cities outshine Asia’s commercial hubs
Each year, hundreds of companies – from tech startups to multinationals – set up offices in Australian cities, including as springboards into Asia. Fortunately, Australia’s successful pandemic-containment measures have helped maintain the practical, lifestyle appeal of our state capitals. According to Mercer’s 2020 Cost of Living Index, Australia’s lifestyle cities are become more internationally competitive, with a lower cost-of-living rating than most major cities in the Asia-Pacific region.
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