Market profile

The United Kingdom (UK) of Great Britain and Northern Ireland comprises England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain) and Northern Ireland.

In 2019–20, the United Kingdom was Australia’s fifth largest trading partner with Australian exports worth $21 billion.

The United Kingdom is Australia’s second largest source of investment after the United States. Total investment in Australia reaching $686.1 billion at the end of 2019 or 17.8% of total foreign investment in Australia.

The enduring relationship between Australia and the UK is underpinned by shared heritage, common values and strong personal ties. The strategic outlook of both countries is closely aligned, and this is reflected in long-standing trade and investment links.

Information on preparing your business for Brexit and the UK decision to leave the EU – Brexit.

More information on doing business in United Kingdom.

The Australia–UK Free Trade Agreement

Find out more information about the progress of the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's (DFAT) website.

UK regions and specialised industry

Scotland

Scotland is one of the UK’s top investment destinations, attracting more foreign investment than anywhere in the country outside of London.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is the world’s top destination for fintech development inward investment. The region also benefits from low-cost customer support services.

North of England

North England is home to world-leading design and manufacturing. It also produces 50% of UK nuclear projects and 30% of all renewable energy projects.

Wales

Welsh industry is diverse, including world-leading innovation in compound semiconductor technology, life sciences, energy and the environment.

Midlands

The Midlands is a centre for manufacturing, including especially the automotive sector. It is a magnet for overseas investment, with discounts for research.

South of England

South England is the UK’s top destination for overseas expansion, focusing on financial services, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, aerospace and data.

Opportunities for Australian business

UK and Australia share common geopolitical, economic and environmental challenges in the post COVID-19 period. Combatting these challenges offers commercial opportunities as both countries look to diversify export markets.

Austrade UK is exploring opportunities for Australian exporters in:

  • agribusiness and food
  • infrastructure
  • energy and the circular economy
  • critical minerals
  • health and life sciences
  • advanced technologies
  • fintech

Facts

  • Merchandise exports A$7,898 million
  • Services exports A$5,606 million
  • Capital London
  • Official language English
  • Area 241,930 sq km
  • Population 66.5 million

Visit United Kingdom

Information provided by DFAT

Country brief

A comprehensive overview of political, economic and bilateral and regional trade agreements.

» read more at DFAT

Trade and economic fact sheet

Containing general information, recent economic indicators, Australia’s trade and investment relationship with United Kingdom and their global merchandise trade relationship that is updated twice a year.

» read more at DFAT

 

Australia's trade at a glanceAustralia's top ten trading partners

Smartraveller

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smartraveller site provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to United Kingdom. This is regularly updated and should be checked before planning travel.

» read more at DFAT

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Export grants

Need help with preparing and lodging your application? We can provide independent consultants to assist.

EMDG applications can be lodged by approved consultants.

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Free Trade Agreements

Increased trade creates more Australian jobs and delivers more opportunities for Australian businesses. Find out about how you can take advantage of free trade agreements.

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How Austrade can help

Austrade provides information, advice and range of trade services to assist Australian businesses reduce the time, cost and risk associated with exporting.

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