With a GDP of US$1.2 trillion, Australia has the world’s thirteenth largest economy while having only 0.3% of the world’s population. Australia has experienced more than 25 years of continued economic growth at an average rate of 3.5% per annum.
The strength of the Australian economy is evidenced by its resilience throughout and after the global financial crisis, during which Australia avoided recession. Australia’s position is highly valued in international fora including World Trade Organisation, APEC, the G20 and the OECD.
Australia’s high level of international trade is facilitated by its open market, which has been opened further by free-trade agreements with many of its neighbors and key trading partners.
Australia’s economy has been stimulated in recent times by remarkable growth in Asia which has boosted demand for Australian resources, energy, agricultural goods and, increasingly, services like education.
The current Australian Government has focused on implementing a broad innovation and industry agenda, designed to spur greater innovation and assist Australian start-ups through tax incentives and research grants. The Government also continues to implement a deregulation agenda designed to make it easier and more profitable to do business in Australia.
Australia is a lucrative market providing opportunities for businesses from around the world, as well as providing a perfect pivot to Asian markets and capturing the benefits of the ‘Asian Century’.
Australia’s mining and resources sector has boomed in the past decade and, despite turbulent times for industry during the contentious mining tax debate of 2010, it continues to flourish.
The agriculture industry has long been a cornerstone of Australia’s economy and is continually developing to satisfy changing consumer demands.
Despite regular debates over Australia’s relative power and regional role, Australia’s defence expenditure has been in the top 15 countries globally for over two decades.
The development of a co-ordinated national security policy apparatus in Australia, with particular emphasis on counter-terrorism and, more recently, cyber security, has closely followed the development of similar policies in the United States since September 11, 2001.
The information media and telecommunications sector is a small industry but one of growing importance, which contributed 3 per cent ($41b) to the Australian economy in 2012–13.
Australia’s global reputation as a supplier of first-class education and training has facilitated the development of a sophisticated, highly competitive education industry.
Australia’s sophisticated financial services sector is the nation’s largest industry, representing a hub for investment in the Asia-Pacific.
Health is the sixth largest sector of the Australian economy, comprising 6.9% of GDP or $96 billion per year. Around 12% of all working Australians are employed by the health and social assistance sector.
Tourism is already Australia’s largest services export, employing 543 600 people and providing 2.8% of the nation’s GDP.