Minister's Foreword

Picture of Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb

Welcome to Trade at a Glance 2013, a summary of Australia's trade and economic performance.

Trade is of course integral to Australia's economy as illustrated by the fact that one in five jobs are directly linked to it.

Australia's two-way trade (exports and imports) has reached an all-time high, growing by 1.5 per cent to $623.8 billion (up from $614.5 billion in 2011).

Our trade activity is focused largely on the Asia-Pacific region, with over 70 per cent
of transactions taking place with member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group. The prosperity of Australia and our region is being built through trade and investment. The opportunity for strong further trade will be underpinned by increased demand resulting from the extraordinary growth expected in the Asia-Pacific's middle class through to 2030.

When you have strong trade relations, inevitably new investment also follows. Since the First Fleet foreign investment has been fundamental to Australia's economic development, providing critical funding and capital for projects, business and industry that in turn creates economic opportunities for Australians. The top sources of foreign investment in Australia are (as at 2012) the US, the UK and Japan, with investment from other sources (such as Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand and China) also important.

The message of the new Federal Government is clear: Australia is open for business with economic diplomacy at the core of our international policy effort.

We are committed to further strengthening our trade ties and investment relationships to grow a stronger economy, which will result in more jobs and greater prosperity.

I trust that you will find Trade at a Glance an informative and illustrative resource.

The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP
Minister for Trade and Investment