Australia Overview

after destination for international tourists. It has 10% of the world’s biodiversity and a great number of its native plants and animals exist nowhere else on earth. From tropical rain forests in the north to red deserts of the centre, from the snowfields of the south east to the Australian Antarctic Territory, it is a vast and varied land. Australia has many world Heritage sites including the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and Sydney Opera House. Australia is home to one of the world’s oldest living cultures, with Aboriginal communities established nearly 60,000 years before European settlement. Today, Australia is one of the world’s most multicultural countries rich in Indigenous and immigrant cultures.


Australia is a successful and prosperous nation, ranked second in the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report 2014. Australia’s economy is consistently ranked among the strongest of advanced economies in the organization fro Economic Co-operation and Development. It is the world’s twelfth largest economy and and a top performing nation on almost every measure of excellence, from health to wealth, from ease of doing business to educational attainment. With low unemployment, low inflation and a highly skilled workforce, and with strong links with the fastest growing region in the world the Indo-Pacific-Australia’s economy is set to prosper well into the future.


Australia’s foreign and trade policy promotes its security and long term prosperity. It seeks to protect and advance its national interests in a rapidly changing environment, while supporting a stable global order. Australia has been integrally involved in global efforts to build and security and peace and security for decades, just as it has in promoting global trade and investment liberalization. Australia is a good international citizen, helping in time of crisis and supporting economic development in its region.


The land and its people

Parts of the continent were mapped by Dutch navigators in the 17th Century and by French and British navigators following century, but it was not until 1770 that Captain James Cook charted the east coast and claimed it for Great Britain. From 1788, Britain established penal colonies in New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia.


Free settlers followed in increasing numbers, gradually outnumbering convicts. A colony made up entirely of free settlers was established in South Australia in the 1830s.


Queensland and Victoria separated from New South Wales in the 1850s, by which time gold had been discovered in New South Wales and Victoria. The gold rush brought immigrants to Australia from all over the world.


In 1901, the six colonies united to form The Federal Commonwealth of Australia.


From 1914 to 1918, more than 400,000 Australians volunteered in World War I. Although Australia’s first major campaign in Gallipoli in 1915 was a failure, with almost 9,000 Australian soldiers losing their lives, its commemoration came to be an important element in the emergence of Australian national identity.


The signing of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles by the Prime Minister was the first time Australia signed an International Treaty. In World War II (1939-45), Australian troops were deployed against the Axis powers in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, and allied with the United States in the Pacific War against Japan. On 1 November 1945, became a founding member of the United Nations. In 1951, Australia entered into the ANZUS Treaty with the United States and New Zealand, and in 1957 signed an agreement.


On commerce with Japan which underpinned Australia’s increasing engagement with Asia. Over the past 50 years, Australia has developed a highly diversified economy with considerable strengths, particularly in the mining and agricultural sectors as well as manufacturing and services, and it has become increasingly economically integrated with countries of East Asia.



Australians came from a rich variety of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious backgrounds. While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the original inhabitants of the land, immigrants from about 200 countries also call Australia home. Until the 1970s, the majority of immigrants to Australia came from Europe. These days Australia receives many more immigrants from Asia, and since 1996 the number of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East has almost doubled.


Australia’s immigration policy welcomes people from all over the world and does not discriminate on racial, cultural or religious grounds. Australians embrace the spectrum of religious beliefs and Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and other places of worship are found in almost every major city.



Australia was one of the first countries to establish democracy in the modern world. In the mid-nineteenth century, Australian colonies set about writing constitutions which produced democratically elected parliaments.


From the 1850s to the 1890s, when few other countries in the world were democratic, the Australian colonies progressively established universal male suffrage, and were also among the first to give women the vote. Australian democracy has at its heart the following core defining values:


Freedom of election and being elected.

Freedom of assembly and political participation.

Freedom of speech, expression and religious belief.

Rule of law.

Other basic human rights.


The Australian Government follows the British tradition. The Governor-General representing the crown, exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth. In practice, the Governor-General acts on the advice of the head of the Government, the Prime Minister, and other ministers.


The Prime Minister leads a cabinet of Ministers, each of whom has responsibility for a portfolio of government duties. Commonwealth ministers, including the Prime Minister, are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the leader of a political party or coalition which represents a majority of the House of Representatives in the Federal Parliament. Similar systems operate in the states and territories. There are also more than 560 local councils across the country.


The 1901 Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia sets out the powers of the Commonwealth and States. Each state has its own written constitution. The High Court of Australia and the Federal Court of Australia have the authority to interpret constitutional provisions.


Under the Constitution, the legislative power of the Commonwealth is vested in the federal parliament.


The Government makes laws, authorizes the Government to spend public money, scrutinizes government activities,and is a forum for debate on National issues.All Australian Citizens over the age of 18 must vote in both federal and state elections.


Known as one of the great agricultural and mining and energy producers, Australia has one of the world’s most open and varied economies, with a highly educated workforce and an extensive services sector. Underpinning Australia’s strong economy is its open and transparent trade and economic links with emerging economies links with emerging economies, particularly in Asia.


Australia’s economy is considered one of the strongest, most stable and diverse in the world. In 2015, Australia entered its 25th year of uninterrupted annual economic growth, averaging 3.3% a year.


The services sector is the largest part of the Australian economy, accounting for 60% of gross domestic product and four out of five jobs Australia is an important and growing financial centre, with a sophisticated financial services sector and strong regulation.


A continuing process of reform to further open the economy and strengthen its competitiveness has been a key ingredient of Australia’s success.



Australia has around10% of the world’s biodiversity and is one of the 17 mega-diverse countries that account together for almost 70% of the world’s species. It is a land like no other. More than 80% of Australia’s mammals, frogs, reptiles, and flowering plants are unique to Australia, along with many of its freshwater fish and almost half of its birds. There are more than 140 species of marsupials such as kangaroos, the Tasmanian devil, koalas, wombats. Australia is also home to to monotreme, the platypus and the echidna. These egg-laying mammals are so unusual that they are sometimes referred to as ‘living fossils’. Australia’s national reserve system covers 17.88% of Australia’s land mass more than 137 million hectares across 10,000 properties and includes a range of habitats from lush rainforest to savannas and deserts.


The Commonwealth marine reserve estate, with 60  reserves, including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, covers 3.1 million sq kilometers, approximately one third of Commonwealth waters.


A Leading Antarctic Nation

Australia is a leading Antarctic nation, driving international efforts to preserve Antarctica as a natural reserve devoted to peace and science. About 80 scientists and support staff live and work on Australia’s Antarctic Stations during winter and as many 200 in summer months. Marine scientists also work Australian research vessels in the Southern Ocean. Australia’s world class Antarctic research program contributes to under standing environmental systems in Antarctica and the effects of global climate change. It involves cooperation with hundreds of institutions in more than 25 countries.


Australia is strongly committed to building a rules-based international order which advances and protects the interests of all nations and peoples.


Australia’s foreign and trade policy focuses on strengthening its already significant engagement with countries in the dynamic Indo-Pacific Region. As a founding member of APEC and an active participant in the East Asia summit, Australia is helping to build regional institutions that foster stability, security and prosperity across the region.



Australia has close, longstanding bilateral ties with Indonesia, as well as strong ties with the other member nations of ASEAN. Australia also has significant relations with India and with the major states of North East Asia- China, Japan and the Republic of Korea- which are also major markets. Beyond its regions, Australia enjoys strong economic, security, political, social and cultural ties with the United States and Canada, and continues to build on its strong and longstanding political, cultural trade, investment and people to people links with the United Kingdom and Europe. Australia is committed to broad-based creative partnership with the European Union, addressing the contemporary challenges of economic management and international trade, development, security and international governance. Australia has significant people to people links and growing trade and investment interests in the strategically important Middle East.

Trade liberalization and economic reform have been at the heart of Australian Government Policy for decades. Until the 1960s, Britain and the United States were Australia’s main trading partners. Today the emphasis of Australia’s trade has shifted to Asia, with four out of five of Australia’s top trading partners located there. China, Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea are now Australia’s largest trading partners.


Australia has a very open market with minimal restrictions on imports of goods and services. This has increased productivity, stimulated growth and made the economy more flexible and dynamic.


Australia has developed a competitive edge in a range of goods and services, from high-technology products such as medical and scientific equipment through high quality wine and processed food. Major services exports include education and tourism, and professional and financial services. Services by Australian companies operating overseas provide a major contribution to Australia’s economy.


Aaustralia continues to push ahead with trade liberalization unilaterally, bilaterally and multi laterally. This will strengthen international economic collaboration, reduce the risks facing the global economy, and bolster growth. Australia plays an active role in the WTO, APEC, the G20 and other trade related forums. Australia has also negotiated bilateral and regional trade agreements with a wide range of countries to strengthen trade and investment flows.


Free Trade Agreements sale in Korea(MLA) Australia has ten FTAs currently in force with New Zealand, Singapore, United States, China, Chile, Thailand, Malaysia, The Association with South East Nations(ASEA). The countries with whom Australia has these FTAs accounts for 67% of Australia’s total two way trade. Australia and 11 other countries also successfully concluded negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership(TPP) Agreement in late 2015 and signed the TPP in Auckland an 4 February 2016.


Australia is engaged in six FTA negotiations- two bilateral FTA negotiations with India and Indonesia, and four plurilateral FTA negotiations with Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Pacific Trade and Economic Agreement, and the Trade in Services Agreement.


Mining and Resourcing

With abundant resources, skilled professionals and cutting edge technology, Australia is a leader in the global mining industry and is among the largest producers of bauxite, iron and zinc ore, nickel and gold. Australia is also a major supplier of energy, including coal, natural gas and uranium.


In 2015, the mining sector accounted for approximately 9% of the Australian economy and minerals and fuels accounted for 42% of Australia’s exports.


The scale of Australia’s resources industry has helped the country become a world leader in the development and manufacture of mining equipment, technology and services. Australian firms are competitive across the supply chain, including in exploration, engineering, processing environmental management, mine safety, training and research and development.



Economic growth,  driven by the private sector and supported by trade liberalization, is a key objective of Australia’s engagement with the world. Strong economies are an important shaper of prosperity, security, stability and peace. Through its membership of international economic institutions, Australia actively promotes open trade to encourage global economic growth and job creations.


As president of the G20 in 2014, Australia led the push for G20 members to grow their gross domestic product by an additional 2% by 2019. this would add nearly US$2 Trillion to the global economy and create millions of job.


Australia’s aid program promotes sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in developing countries. Aid investments help expand the capacity of countries to trade their products, encourage economic growth to create jobs, and empower women and girls to better participate in the economy.


Domestically, Australia is working to reduce government debt, remove unnecessary taxes and cut regulations and costs for business. This will ensure Australia remains an attractive destination for international investment so our economy can continue to grow and develop new industries.


Australia and the G20

As a member of the G20, Australia influences decisions relating to the global economy. Australia’s strong financial sector and effective system of financial regulation means Australia is well placed to make a strong contribution to the G20’s work.


Through its membership of the G20,  Australia is also strengthening its engagement with the world’s major economies.

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