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Britain has long been Australia Pacific's gateway to Europe. The European Union of 350 million consumers is the biggest single market in the world. Britain is the partner of choice for Australian companies doing business in Europe.
The Australian economy has been one of the world's most resilient for six of the last eight years. The average growth rate
from 1998-2009 was 3.4 per cent. Australia’s continuing outstanding
economic track record has raised its profile as a destination for UK
companies and it’s a great place to be doing business right now. Harvard
Business Review named Australia as its No. 1 country to invest in
Australia's proximity to the world's fastest growing region, the Asia Pacific, and powerhouses like India and China, gives a distinct advantage to UK companies looking to springboard into this region, especially when more than 1 million Australians speak an Asian language.
The total investment by Australian interests in the UK was worth A$178.8 billion in 2009 (Austrade). This makes the UK Australia's second most important foreign investment destination.
The UK is Australia's second largest trade services partner and also its seventh largest two-way trading partner. The total two-way trade in 2009-10 amounted to nearly A$22 billion. The UK is the second largest foreign direct investor in Australia, with stock worth A$499 billion as of December 2009, the UK invested another A$34 billion in Australia in 2009; 21 per cent of total new investment.
Total bilateral trade and goods and services has grown by 46% in real terms from 1999 to total £11.4bn in 2009. About 1000 UK companies are in Australia, including many of the big names like BP, HBOS, Vodafone, RBS and Virgin Atlantic.
Australia's economy ranks among the 20 largest in the world, with a per capita GDP on par with the four richest West European economies. The Australian labour force is highly educated. Approximately 42 per cent of Australia's working age population has a university degree, diploma or trade qualification.
Trade and investment boosts the economies of Australia and the UK, both in terms of economic growth and jobs. Europe accounts for 34% of all foreign direct investment in Australia and this is distributed across a broad range of sectors. Moreover, this investment is estimated to account for 1.4 million Australian jobs either directly or indirectly; or 12% of the Australian workforce.
The bilateral business relationship remains vibrant and its stability is one of the most important reasons for the strong and growing trade and investment links between Britain and Australia.
With thanks to UKTI. For more facts and stats, visit the British High Commission's website.