Free trade agreements that spark competitiveness
Australia is an open economy that is deeply integrated in global trade. A network of 15 free trade agreements grants Australian exporters preferential access to markets across Asia, and in North and South America.
In 2020, Australia joined the world’s largest free trade agreement (FTA), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The RCEP encompasses 2.3 billion people and 30% of global GDP. In December 2021, Australia and the UK signed a free trade agreement. The historic deal will strengthen Australia's diversification and export-led COVID-19 recovery. Australia is negotiating further trade agreements with the European Union (EU) and India.
Around three-quarters of Australia’s two-way trade occurs within the Asia-Pacific region. Market diversification is underway to build a resilient trading network.
Australia also maintains strong trading links with traditional partners. The EU and the UK together account for 13.2% of Australian trade and the US another 9.3%.
Despite bushfires, drought and lockdowns, foreign investment grew 2.5% in 2020. The total stock of foreign direct investment in Australia has grown, on average, 7% per year. The US, Japan, the UK, the EU, the Netherlands and Canada are still our biggest investors.