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Last updated : Nov 2009
Australia Business
Australia Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com

Australia has a very varied economy and a high standard of living. The service sector accounts for almost 3 quarters of Gross Domestic Products, although other sectors of the economy contribute significantly to Australian export earnings.

Approximately 1 3rd of export earnings is derived from agricultural products, although the main agricultural industry, sheep farming, now appears to be in long term decline.

Another major export industry is mining, Australia has vast reserves of coal (of which it is now the world’s leading exporter), iron ore, natural gas, oil, nickel, zircon, bauxite and diamonds, as well as uranium (Australian ore fuels many of the Western nations’ nuclear power plants).

Most Australian manufacturing is intense in processing of mineral products and in the steel, iron and engineering industries.

Australia’s service industries, which now account for the major part of the economy, have continued to grow despite some damage in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, which severely affected many of Australia’s main trading partners.

The most essential development in the economy in recent years has been a shift in trading patterns away from Britain and Europe towards the Pacific Rim – 60 % of Australian exports are now sold in that region.

The country’s single largest trading partner is Japan, which takes approximately 1 3rd of total exports, followed by the USA, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China and then the EU nations (principally the UK and Germany).

Japanese investment in Australia, predominantly in property and tourist ventures, has reached the point where most of the eastern seaboard ‘Gold Coast’ is now Japanese owned.

The Australian economy has continued to perform steadily during the last few years, annual growth in early 2004 was just over 3 %. Inflation and unemployment are stable at 3 and 7 % respectively.


Suits are regularly worn in Melbourne and Sydney. Brisbane business people may wear ties, shirts and shorts, visiting business people should wear light weight suits for the initial meeting.

Prior appointments are compulsory and punctuality is important. A great deal of business is accomplished over drinks. The best months for business travel are from March to November.

General office hours are from Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.

Commercial Information

The following organisations can offer information:

Australia and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce UK

Address: 30-35 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HE, UK

Telephone: (020) 7379 0720

Facsimile: (020) 7379 0721

Email: enquiries@anzcc.org.uk

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

Address: Commerce House, Level 3, 24 Brisbane Avenue, Barton, ACT 2600

Telephone: (2) 6273 2311

Facsimile: (2) 6273 3286

Email: acci@acci.asn.au

Website address: www.acci.asn.au

International Chamber of Commerce

Address: Level 3, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Telephone: (3) 8608 2072 or (3) 8608 2547


Tourism Australia is the 1st point of contact for information. There is also a nationwide organisation overseeing conference and convention activity throughout Australia:

Association of Australian Convention Bureaux (AACB)

Address: Level 2, 80 William Street, Sydney, NSW 2011

Telephone: (2) 9360 3500

Facsimile: (2) 9331 7767

Website address: www.aacb.org.au