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.
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
General office hours are
from Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.
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
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)
Address: Commerce House, Level 3, 24 Brisbane Avenue, Barton, ACT
Telephone: (2) 6273 2311
Facsimile: (2) 6273 3286
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