AGN Live Country Guides

Doing Business in Australia

Published in April 2019

Australia is the 20th largest export economy in the world and the 59th most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). In 2017, Australia exported $243B and imported $199B, resulting in a positive trade balance of $44B. In 2017 the GDP of Australia was $1.32T and its GDP per capita was $48.5k.

The top exports of Australia are Iron Ore ($48.2B), Coal Briquettes ($47B), Gold ($29.1B), Petroleum Gas ($20.3B) and Wheat ($4.88B), using the 1992 revision of the HS (Harmonized System) classification. The top export destinations of Australia are China ($85B), Japan ($34.6B), South Korea ($18B), India ($14.8B) and Hong Kong ($14.2B).

Its top imports are Cars ($18.1B), Refined Petroleum ($14.4B), Special Purpose Ships ($9B), Broadcasting Equipment ($7.22B) and Delivery Trucks ($6.8B). The top import origins are China ($47B), the United States ($20.5B), South Korea ($18.7B), Japan ($16.3B) and Thailand ($10.6B).

FDI helps power some of Australia’s leading industries, creating more opportunities and jobs. It supports local businesses, develops infrastructure and builds regional economies, and drives greater competitiveness, innovation and productivity through new technologies.

Investment from overseas means:
  • Jobs for Australians – with 1 in 10 Australian jobs supported by foreign direct investment – employing 1.2 million people.
  • Greater growth for the Australian economy – businesses supported by FDI hold $2.7 trillion in assets – almost a quarter of Australia’s total assets. They contribute to more than a quarter of Australia’s economy – $286 billion in Industry Value Add (IVA).
  • Increased productivity and exports – FDI has also contributed to generating two fifths of Australia’s goods and services exports.
There are a number of important considerations for investors when deciding on how to enter the Australian market or when establishing a business in Australia. Investors will generally need to choose between establishing a new company, registering as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company.
If establishing a new business, a variety of business structures are available, each with their own regulatory and tax considerations. Businesses may also need to establish their identity through a trade mark, online and/or physical presence. 
This portal incorporates live data feeds from:

•The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
•The World Bank
•The observatory of Economic Complexity

The intention is to provide access to live information extracted from the regularly refreshed databases maintained by these organisations.



Use the navigation buttons below to access to more live data:
Inflation, Development indicators, Exports, Trade Balance, and more.

OECD Country Comparison Portal

The window below is a direct feed of regularly updated information from the OECD. It provides data concerning everything from GDP growth, fiscal balance, investment, and unemployment rates to consumption, import volume and export volume. The window allows comparisons between Australia and other countries of the OECD average for these factors.

World Bank Development Indicators


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Products, represented by rectangles, are drawn from the 775 individual product classes found in the Standardized International Trade Code.

This graph shows volumes of goods exported from Australia.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Products, represented by rectangles, are drawn from the 775 individual product classes found in the Standardized International Trade Code.

This graph shows volumes of goods imported into Australia.

Trade Balance

This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

This graph illustrates the subsequent trade balance of exports and imports to and from Australia.


This graph is taken from The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

This graph shows the destinations of goods and services by country.


Business Opportunities in the AP Region:

     (October 2020)

Potential for lucrative Chinese markets still very much present for businesses who may be otherwise suffering during the pandemic.

The upcoming Chinese International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai illustrates how the Chinese are intent to move on from the impact of Covid 19.

GDP is up and the Chinese economy has effectively bounced back. Robust pandemic safety measures mean the import expo comprised of 1,400 foreign exhibitors will open its doors to buyers hungry for Western goods and services on 5 November. CIIE is likely to be one of the very few major commercial exhibitions not to have been cancelled in 2020.  

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Chinese mainland, in actual use, grew 18.7 percent year on year to 84.13 billion yuan in August. This marked the fifth consecutive month for the country to witness positive growth in FDI.

If you want to know what to export into China and for further information and take action, please contact us.

Find the AGN Firm best prepared to serve you


There are huge opportunities for AGN technology clients in Australia. Between 2014 and 2020, the contribution of digital technologies to Australia's economy is forecast to grow 75% to A$139 billion.

Almost all of this growth (97%) is predicted to take place in a range of traditional sectors such as financial services, agribusiness, life sciences, resources and energy. The Australian government warmly welcomes foreign investment in the some critical areas.

find the firm best prepared to serve you

Vietnam features at No3 in the top 5 best countries to invest in     (August 2016)

Recently free trade agreements have been signed with the European Union and 11 members of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Most economic indicators show resilience and point towards a continued and pro-longed period of growth. 
As a rising middle class country Vietnam offers many interesting business opportunities. Vietnamese population is a young one with the average age of the Vietnamese people being around 29. Due to the Confucian way of thinking education is highly valued and these young people have a reputation for being very eager to learn and are hard workers. English is the most commonly used language for educational studies and so the language barrier is not often an issue. Economic growth is stable and the country enjoys a stable political environment.

find the firm best prepared to serve you

Regional publications:


Countries Comparison

A collection of transfer pricing summaries of countries in the Asia Pacific Region

Read full publication

Countries Comparison

General guide to Asia Pacific countries tax facts

Read full publication

A quarterly Tax Publication

Quarter 1

Quarter 4

Quarter 3
Quarter 2
Quarter 1

Quarter 4
Quarter 3
Quarter 2
Quarter 1

Quarter 3
Quarter 2
Quarter 1


AGN News:

March 2021

Member Survey: The Impact and Recovery of Covid-19

The AGN Covid Business Recovery Index is a survey based on our member's opinions about how Covid-19 has impacted their country's economy and how fast it might recover. Each month four key data points will be published to indicate the current levels of business sentiment amongst our members. These will relate to ‘Business Confidence’ over the last 30 days and the coming 30 days, and ‘Recovery Expectation’ - Members views on how quickly things will revert to pre-covid levels of business activity.

In this edition, business confidence gets a boost as vaccines deployment gathers pace. The data shows a significant increase with the highest levels since June 2020. Is the return to normality getting closer in range?

Click here for March results
March 2020

Press Release: Saudi Arabian Firm Joins AGN Membership

AGN International – one of the world’s leading associations of independent certified public accounting and consulting firms, announces that Al Sudais CPAs has joined its membership in the EMEA region. The firm, established in 2016, is located in Khobar, Riyadh, and Jeddah, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and provides local and international clients with assurance, tax and consulting services, specialising in several business industries and sectors.

Read the Press Release

AGN Firms in the country

Ashfords Accountants & Advisory Pty Ltd
Suite 5
14 Garden Boulevard
Melbourne VIC 3172
Time Zone:
Phone: 0061 3 9551 2822
Economos Chartered Accountants
Citigroup Centre,Level 38
2 Park Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Time Zone:
Phone: +61 2 9266 2200
Hamilton Murphy Advisory Pty Ltd
Level 54, 111 Eagle Street
Brisbane QLD 4000
Time Zone:
Phone: +61 07 3129 0438
Hamilton Murphy Advisory Pty Ltd
Level 1, 255 Mary Street
Melbourne VIC 3121
Time Zone:
Phone: +61 03 9024 6244
Hamilton Murphy Advisory Pty Ltd
Unit 18, 28 Belmont Avenue
Perth WA 6103
Time Zone:
Phone: +61 08 6109 0244
Hamilton Murphy Advisory Pty Ltd
300 Barangaroo Avenue
Syndey NSW 2000
Time Zone:
Phone: +61 02 8067 8363
Harding Martin Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors
221 Brisbane Street
Ipswich Queensland QLD 4305
Time Zone: GMT +10
Phone: 0061 7 3812 2233