Invest in Australia

Things that make our economy successful

Investors have a choice of engagement models, including:

Establishing an Australian subsidiary to supply the local market

Establishing an Asia Pacific headquarters in Australia, given Australia’s extensive economic and cultural ties with Asia

Establishing joint ventures or strategic alliances with an Australian company with complementary technologies, products or services that yield competitive advantage and expanded market access

Establishing joint ventures or strategic alliances with Australian companies to research, develop, upscale or commercialise niche Australian technologies to launch in global markets

Why invest in Australia?

With a population of just 24.2 million, Australia is the 13th largest economy in the world and the fifth largest in the Asian region.29 Australia’s economic growth has outperformed other major advanced economies. Global forecasts predict Australia will maintain its position as the world’s 13th largest economy (in US dollar terms) in 2017.

Australia’s nominal GDP is estimated at US$1.3 trillion (A$1.7 trillion) and accounts for 1.7 per cent of the global economy. Australia has almost tripled the value of its total production in two decades.29

Australia’s political stability, transparent regulatory system, and sound governance frameworks underpin its economic resilience. Ranked in the global top five on the Index of Economic Freedom30, Australia’s effective governance and control of corruption provide multinationals with a safe, secure business environment.

Australia is ranked 15th out of 190 economies for ease of doing business, and fifth when compared to economies with a similar or larger population. Australia’s Quality of Judicial Processes Index is rated the world’s best.31

Global rankings come in 3rd for enforcing contracts, 5th for ease of getting credit and 7th for starting a business.31

Offering competitive office space rates and remuneration for professionals, Australia’s major cities also enjoy some of the highest quality of living in the world. Six Australian cities are ranked in the global top 40 for their quality of living.

These credentials attract some of the world’s largest organisations to Australia. All Top 20 FT Global 500 companies and all Top 10 Fortune Global 500 have operations in Australia. And one in five businesses in Australia with more than 200 employees is at least 50 per cent foreignowned.

Australia provides a base for expansion into fast-growing Asian nations. Ten of the country’s top 12 export markets are in Asia.

Australia has strong business and cultural ties with Asia. The country’s medium and long-term growth outlook is supported by increasingly strong ties to the rapidly growing Asian region.

Recently completed free trade agreements make Australia even more competitive and increase prospects for greater two-way investment.

Australia has a strong record of innovation, underpinned by its significant government and private sector R&D investment and quality-enabling ICT infrastructure. The Australian Government makes a significant annual investment in science, research and innovation. In 2015/16 it invested A$9.7 billion.33

Australia’s R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP in purchasing power parity terms is strong. Australia is ranked in the top 10 among OECD member nations for its total expenditure on R&D.34

Australia’s National Innovation and Science Agenda is a framework for Australian innovation policy. The initiatives are worth $1.1 billion over the next four years:

  • investing A$250 million into a A$500 million Biomedical Translation Fund to promote innovation in Australia’s strong biotechnology and healthcare sectors
  • a A$200 million CSIRO Innovation Fund for co-investment in new start-ups and accelerator opportunities.
  • funding of A$163 million for research-industry partnership grants through the Australian Research Council for 258 research projects, announced in May 2016
  • establishing Innovation and Science Australia – an independent body responsible for strategic whole-of-government advice on all science, research and innovation matters.
  • support for Australian start-ups to access Landing Pads in global innovation hotspots – Singapore, San Francisco, Shanghai, Tel Aviv and Berlin. These will provide short-term operational bases from which to access customers, entrepreneurial talent, mentors, investors and a wider connected network of innovation hubs.
  • new tax breaks for early-stage investors in innovative start-ups. Investors will receive a 20% non-refundable tax offset based on the amount of their investment, as well as a capital gains tax exemption.
  • the R&D Tax Incentive continues to helps companies doing eligible work to create new or improved products, processes and services by reducing their tax.

R&D Tax Incentive

Are you eligible for an R&D tax incentive? Companies performing eligible R&D activities can apply for:

Infographic showing 43.5% refundable tax offset under Australia's R&D Tax Incentive.

Refundable Tax Offset

for eligible entities with an aggregated turnover of less than A$20 million
(unless they are controlled by tax-exempt entities)
(for income years from 1 July 2016)


Non-Refundable Tax Offset

for all other eligible entities
(for income years from 1 July 2016)

Infographic showing 38.5% non-refundable tax offset under Australia's R&D Tax Incentive.

UK edtech company lands in Australia