Benchmark Report 2020: Why Australia is a compelling investment destination

28 Aug 2020


  • Benchmark Report
  • FDI

Austrade has released its Why Australia Benchmark Report 2020 (BMR).

Now in its 20th year, the report provides a wide range of economic and financial data that demonstrates why there is no better partner for trade, investment and collaboration than Australia.

Structured around five main reasons for trading with and investing in Australia – Resilient Economy, Dynamic Industries, Innovation and Skills, Global Ties and Strong Foundations – the report benchmarks Australia’s credentials against other major economies in each category.

Stable, resilient and adaptable economy

The start of 2020 brought huge challenges for Australia, with natural disasters and the COVID-19 outbreak affecting many aspects of our economy.

Our proactive response to the global economic downturn has protected the Australian economy. Our ability to adapt is our great strength, and it helps us meet current challenges. We have a resilient economy, open markets, and a diversified mix of successful industries, which help us respond effectively to all manner of disruptions.

Globally significant industries

The 2020 edition provides snapshots of five of Australia’s globally significant industries – Resources and Energy, Agribusiness, Education, Tourism and Funds Management (see below).


Australia is renowned for its mineral and energy resources, which have long been a significant contributor to Australia’s growth and prosperity. Australian resources have also helped power Asia’s urbanisation and economic growth. The country is ranked as one of the world’s top five exporters of minerals and fuels, with significant reserves of iron ore, gold and liquefied natural gas.

Australian agriculture is truly world-leading – in efficiency, technology and environmental credibility. This helps Australian farmers attract investment from around the world, and secure new customers for clean, green produce in Asia’s premium food markets.

Australian food and fibre exports rose to almost A$50 billion in 2019. Of Australia’s 15 top food markets, 12 are in the Asia region, and they account for approximately three-quarters of the nation’s agrifoods exports. With a reputation for high agricultural standards and a well-regulated food industry, Australian produce commands premium prices in Asia. Australia’s network of regional free trade agreements also gives Australian growers preferential access to Asian markets.

A leading education provider, Australia attracted over 750,000 students in 2019 from around the world, particularly from the Asia-Pacific region. By the end of 2019, Australia had become the third most popular destination for foreign students enrolled in higher education.

With a 3.1% share of global tourism receipts, Australia was the world’s eighth largest international tourism market in 2019. With few overseas options and stringent border controls due to COVID-19, Australia’s high-spending domestic tourists will help sustain Australian tourism until global visitors return.

Australia is home to one of the world’s major and most sophisticated financial sectors with total estimated assets of A$9.5 trillion (about US$6.6 trillion) in 2019, providing investors access to capital and financial expertise, particularly in wealth management.

BMR 2020 also highlights Australia’s advanced research and innovation capabilities; highly educated, multilingual and multicultural workforce; world-class universities and research institutions, good governance and strong institutions, well-regulated business environment; and strong cultural links with the rapidly growing Asian region.

In future posts, we will look in more detail at each of the five key factors that contribute to Australia’s attractiveness as a trade and investment partner.

You are welcome to download charts from BMR 2020 for use in presentations and reports.

Find out more about investing in Australia or contact an Austrade Investment Specialist for more information.