Global trading power
Australia is an open and adaptable trading nation. We have well-established connections to key global economies with trade representing almost half of Australia’s GDP (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2023).
We have negotiated free trade agreements all over the world including major regional trade blocs.
And thanks to our proximity, time zone and close diplomatic ties, Australia is your ideal hub to access Asia-Pacific markets.
Gateway to the region
In 2021-22, 75% of our trade was with Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) members, which includes some of the fastest-growing economies in the world (Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade statistics).
Our easy access to Asian markets makes us a gateway for global companies to grow.
- Twelve of Australia’s top 15 export markets are in the Asia and Oceania region (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Trade statistics 2021-22).
- They attracted exports worth A$471 billion in 2021-22. This represented almost 80% of Australia’s total exports of goods and services.
- China is our largest trading partner, accounting for 27% of our two-way trade.
- More than 40% of our exports go to Japan, Korea, India, the US, Taiwan and Singapore.
- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is also a significant bloc for Australian trade. It accounts for more than 12% of Australia’s total exports.
Australia maintains strong links with traditional partners. The EU and the UK accounted for 11% of total trade in 2021-22, and the US for 7%.
The Australian Government launched a new Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040 in September 2023 to deepen Australia’s economic engagement with our region and ensure our shared future prosperity. Developed by Special Envoy for Southeast Asia Nicholas Moore, the strategy outlines a practical pathway to significantly increase two-way trade and investment between Australia and Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, with Indonesia alone predicted to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2050 (Source: PwC).
“Australia stands to benefit from, and contribute to, this growth by being a reliable and high-quality supplier of commodities, including agriculture, minerals and energy, and as a provider of first-class services, particularly university education. There are also major opportunities for Australian business in meeting the region's major infrastructure investment and green energy transition needs.”
Australia is investing A$95.4 million in three initiatives to support the strategy and drive trade and investment outcomes.
A broad network of trade agreements
Australia is a highly globalised economy. We have 18 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with countries including the United States, China, Korea, Japan and Singapore (Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). We are also a member of regional multi-party trade agreements, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) and the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).
Australia is actively negotiating new bilateral and regional FTAs. Most recently, we signed the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA), which entered into force in 2023. The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) has also recently come into force (December 2022). Australia and India are concluding a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, which will build on ECTA’s market access outcomes.
Australia also engages with our region and wider world through multiple diplomatic and economic co-operation partnerships. This includes the G20; Quad diplomatic network with India, Japan and the United States; the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); the ASEAN or Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership; and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).
A high-growth destination for foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Australia is growing fast. The total stock of FDI in Australia rose by an average of 7.3% per year since 2002-03. In 2022-23, foreign investment, which includes direct and indirect, reached A$4.6 trillion. As a percentage of GDP, the total value of foreign investment stock grew from 124% in 2002-03 to almost 183% in 2022-23.
In 2022, Australia’s top 3 foreign direct investors were the US, UK and Japan with stock holdings equivalent to 17%, 12% and 12% of total FDI respectively (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2022 and Austrade Economics). From 2012 to 2022, investment activities from ASEAN countries – mainly Singapore and Malaysia – have grown by an average of 5.9% per annum to A$58 billion (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2023).