Main Industry SectorsEconomic OverviewForeign Direct Investment [FDI]FDI Government MeasuresCountry Strong PointsCountry Weak PointsForeign Trade Overview
Australian tertiary sector occupies a dominant position in the Australian economy (morethan three-fourths of the GDP), but the agricultural and mining sectors are the most importantfor its exports. Australia is a vast agricultural country and one of the worlds main exporters of wool, meat,wheat and cotton. Australia is overflowing with mineral and energy raw materials, the export of which ensuresit substantial revenues. Australia is among the top 10 producers and exporters of most mineral ores. Australia has the worlds greatest reserves of numerous strategic resources such as uranium,of which it has 40% of the worlds proven reserves.
Australia is a finished goods importer. Its industrialization is fairly recent, a fact which explains thesmall scale of its manufacturing sector, which only employs 10% of the active population. The manufacturing industry is built up around the food industry (approximately a fifth of theworkforce), machinery and equipment (around 20%), metal processing and metal goods (nearly 20%) andthe chemical-petrochemical industry (slightly more than 10%).
Australia is the worlds thirteenth largest economic power.In 2010 the Australian economy has been growing again, with an estimated growth rateof 3 % of the GDP.Australia’s good economic performance owes to the governments fiscal policy ofincentives, by the increase in household consumption and especially by the continuousChinese demand which helps exports.The Australian governments priorities are to improve the countrys competitiveness,namely with regards to the export competition of Asian countries and to deal with thechallenges of its aging population and its environment which is vulnerable to climaticproblems (droughts).Australia is a prosperous country and its per capita GDP is amongst the highest in theworld.Despite the recent increase in unemployment rate due to the global economic crisis,it remains consistently low, around 5%.
The foreign direct investment (FDI), Australia is ranked 13th in the world but 3rd in the Asia-Oceaniazone, behind Hong-Kong and China (since 2005). Australia is an investment destination. Australia’s economic liberalism, its stability and judicial system transparency, combined with strongeconomic growth of more than 15 years, make up for the narrowness of its market and its geographicalisolation, and make it a desirable destination. The effects of the 2008-2009 financial crisis have not harmed its capabilities and Australia remains avalued destination to a number of investors.
Foreign companies get assistance, especially for productive investment, R&D,professional training and job creation. Australian administrative formalities for setting up foreign companies has beenreduced.
The customary Australian dynamism, its economic robustness, its strong growth, stable andjuridical reassuring business environment and position as a practical access platform forcertain markets, like New Zealand and the Pacific islands, make this country a choice target forestablishment.
Reduced competition in some sectors can limit returns on scale. Lack of investment in transport and telecommunication infrastructuressometimes slows down growth in some sectors.
Australias external trade is characterized by a structural trade deficit. The increase in exports has not compensated for the high imports which are stimulated by a strongAustralian dollar. In terms of continuous growth, and despite healthy exports, the deterioration of thecurrent account balance and of the structural deficit are still the Australian economys weak points. Australia is becoming more and more dependent on Asian economies and the price of rawmaterials. Australian foreign trade is not well developed, a fact which reflects the countrys relatively weakglobalization integration. Australia must improve its infrastructures in order to redress the bottlenecks that have been restricting exports for a long time, so as to allow it to better integrate in global trade.. Australias main trade partners are Southeast Asia, the United States and the European Union.
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