Australian Market Overview


Australia is widely recognised as an attractive, open and easy place in which to do business. It is the world's sixth largest country by total land area and the 13th largest economy globally. Australia is a highly developed, multicultural and prosperous market that benefits from vast natural resources, strong connectedness to fast-growing Asian markets and a skilled, well-educated workforce.

Inward investment and migration have historically been, and continue to be, strong and important contributors and drivers of economic prosperity. As such, Australia encourages productive investment and skilled migration.

Due to sustained economic growth, attractive working and social conditions and the physical environment, Australia has one of the highest standards of living in the world and Australian cities score highly in liveability rankings.

Australia has low barriers to entry and robust legal, corporate and regulatory frameworks with sophisticated & wealthy consumer & industrial sectors.  With nearly 18,000 foreign companies registered in Australia, it is considered relatively straightforward for doing - or establishing a - business.

Key Market Information

Surface Area 7.69 million sq kms (2.96 million sq miles)
Capital City Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Population 24.5 million (March 2017)
Population Growth 1.6% (year ended 31 March 2017)
Highest Growth Rate Victoria 2.4%
Workforce 12.3 million (Sept 2017)
Largest City Sydney Population 5.03 million (June 2016)
Languages English + 300 others
Currency Australian dollar (AUD or A$)
Time Eastern: GMT+10hrs Central: GMT+9.5hrs Western: GMT+8hrs
Tax Year 1 July - 30 June
Public Holidays Varies from State to State
Public Holidays

Australia's Six States & Mainland Territories Population & Growth (end March 2017)

State / Territory Population at end March 2017 '000 Change over previous year
New South Wales 7 837.7 1.6
Victoria 6 290.7 2.4
Queensland 4 907.6 1.6
South Australia 1 721.0 0.6
Western Australia 2 576.0 0.7
Tasmania 520.1 0.6
Northern Territory 245 0.1
Australian Capital Territory 409.1 1.8
Australia(a) 24 511.8 1.6

ABS Australian Demographic Statistics, March 2017

Key Characteristics

  • Transparent and well-regulated business environment backed by rule of law and property rights.
  • Business-friendly for creating a new business and accessing credit
  • Strong, open and resilient economy with 26 consecutive years of annual economic growth
  • Strong linkages to emerging Asian markets through trade, investment, tourism and migration and proximity
  • Growing and diversified industries; primarily service-based together with mining & primary industries
  • Robust building and construction sectors with a strong pipeline of infrastructure projects
  • Highly-educated workforce; innovative, tech-savvy with strong R&D credentials
  • High income and wealth growth; amongst the highest per capital wealth globally
  • Multicultural with a large foreign-born population and strong migration inflow growth


  • A slowdown in capital investment into the resources sector and slowdown in exports to China is impacting overall growth (but it is still one of the highest growth markets in the OECD).
  • Skills shortages exist in some industries and a relatively inflexible labour market with high levels of employee protection.