Australia: Country and Foreign Investment
Economy and Currency
In recent decades, Australia has transformed itself into an internationally competitive, advanced market economy. It has boasted one of the OECD's fastest growing economies, with a per capita GDP of USD43,300 (2012 est).
Australia’s economy is dominated by its services sector, representing 70% of GDP, but the agricultural and mining sectors (10% of GDP combined) account for more than 60% of its exports. The narrow export base has, however, undermined its balance of payments, and Australia has had persistently large current account deficits. For that reason, the government has attempted to develop the country’s manufacturing sector.
High export prices for raw materials and agricultural products have boosted the economy in recent years, particularly in mining states. GDP growth was estimated to be 3.6% in 2012, 2.4% in 2011 and 2.6% in 2010.
While the economy has been affected by the global economic recession, Australia has re-emerged earlier than most advanced economies, outperforming them with stronger growth, lower debt and lower deficits.
Australian trade has shifted away from Europe and North America towards Japan and other East Asian markets. For example, there are substantial exports to China of iron ore, wool and other raw materials, and that country has a great interest in investing in Australia's resource extraction industry.
Australia’s currency is the Australian dollar (AUD).