Australia’s economy has famously avoided recession for the last 25 years, navigating the global financial crisis more successfully than most. While economic conditions are now more challenging, strong cultural and institutional ties mean Australia remains an excellent place for British companies to do business.
Seven out of Australia’s top ten trading partners are Asian countries. More than 2 million Australians (approximately 10% of the population) speak an Asian language at home. With a new emphasis on how Australia can potentially use its position and proximity to these fast- growing Asian economies to help British companies looking to expand into this region, the new Doing Business in Australia guide will give you a fresh outlook on this great market.
As Australia offers the UK its first trade agreement, it is clear that “the old country” may be able to take advantage of this offer which comes with its decades of experience of trading with ASEAN markets. Australia already has free trade agreements in place with: Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, USA, Chile, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (with New Zealand) and Malaysia. A free trade agreement with China is also due to come into force later this year – making Australia a brilliant point of entry to the countries covered by these agreements which already account for two thirds of Australia’s total trade.
These free trade agreements mean that parties enter into legally binding commitments to relax access to each other’s markets for goods, services, and investment which will in turn allow the UK access to them through an Australian bi-lateral trade agreement.
Trade and investment patterns between Australia remain strong and are growing. The UK is the second largest foreign investor in Australia after the US, with stock worth almost A$500 billion.
Australia is the UK’s 14th biggest export market, ahead of Canada and Russia. The leading UK goods exports to Australia are motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, machinery and equipment, scientific instruments, clothing and beverages. Services exports account for more than half of total exports to Australia and are led by travel and transportation, financial and professional/other business services.
Providing a safe, low-risk environment in which to do business, Australia is rated AAA by all three global rating agencies, and is forecast to realise average annual real GDP growth of 2.9 per cent between 2016 and 2020. In addition, its deep, strong economic and cultural ties with the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region make Australia an attractive market for UK companies.
The Doing Business in Australia Guide is available in 4 formats: