2016 Benchmark Report: Australia – 25 years of consecutive growth

08 Feb 2016

Australia’s 2016 Benchmark Report has just been released – and the figures are both excellent and heartening.

Produced by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), the annual Benchmark Report presents key economic, financial and demographic data that highlight Australia’s competitive strengths as a major player in global trade and investment.

Australia is not only entering its 25th year of consecutive growth, the country is expected to realise annual real GDP growth of 2.9 per cent between 2016 and 2020 – the fastest of any major advanced economy in the world.

With a GDP of US$1.2 trillion, Australia ranks as the 12th largest economy in the world. Triple ‘A’ rated by all major rating agencies, it also has one of the lowest debt levels of any government, anywhere, in terms of nominal GDP.

Australia is a global leader in five key growth sectors – agriculture, education, funds management, resources, and tourism. The country’s economy is 70 per cent services based; over the past two decades the top four growth industries have been service industries.

Recognising that innovation and science will be critical in underpinning Australia’s growth into the future, the Australian Government recently launched the National Science and Innovation Agenda.

This ambitious A$1.1 billion program is aimed at helping Australia to become a world leader in innovation. There are good foundations: Australia’s scientific research has already made an impact internationally, and gross R&D expenditure reached an estimated A$33 billion in 2013-14.

Location, the type of workforce and levels of business transparency also play a critical part in any successful economy. In these areas Australia ranks very well indeed, with a labour force that is one of the world’s most multicultural, multilingual and educated; a geographic location in close proximity to Asia, the world’s fastest-growing region; and a sophisticated financial sector that not only has access to capital but works within a business environment that is both transparent and well-regulated.