Foreign-owned businesses in Australia – explore the data

Interact with the data below to see which countries operate businesses in Australia’s industries, and find out how the economic activities of majority foreign-owned businesses help to drive a stronger Australian economy.

One third of all majority foreign-owned businesses operating in Australia are investments from the US, the UK and Japan combined, and account for half of the employment among all majority foreign-owned businesses.

Almost two thirds of exports from majority foreign-owned businesses are generated from US, UK and Japanese-owned businesses.

Foreign-owned businesses also contribute significantly to Australia’s Industry Value Add (IVA). Businesses from the US, UK and Japan contribute around 10 per cent (combined) of Australia’s IVA, and around 10 per cent of total business assets are held by foreign-owned businesses from the US, the UK, Japan and Switzerland.

Majority foreign-owned businesses largely operate in the Wholesale trade; Professional, scientific and technical services; Financial and insurance services; and Manufacturing industries. Employment is concentrated in labour intensive industries, including Manufacturing; Wholesale trade; and Professional, scientific and technical services.

These businesses also significantly contribute to Australia’s IVA, particularly in Mining ($39 billion), Manufacturing ($29.3 billion), and Professional, scientific and technical services ($27.6 billion). In most industries, majority foreign-owned businesses generate at least a third of industry exports in goods and services.

Want to know more about the industries that majority foreign-owned businesses operate in? Explore below to get a deeper understanding of different countries’ activities in Australia.

Note: The data presented above are sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, “Economic Activity of Foreign Owned Businesses Operating in Australia, 2014-15” (ABS Cat. No. 5494.0). Funding for this data collection was provided by Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

More information: DFAT has developed a series of detailed factsheets by country and industry, to access these factsheets visit the DFAT website. See the ABS website for more detailed data and explanatory notes.