Economic diplomacy

What is economic diplomacy?

Economic diplomacy uses our international diplomatic assets to advance Australia’s prosperity and global prosperity.

Australia’s economic diplomacy agenda is based on four key pillars:

  1. promoting trade
  2. encouraging growth
  3. attracting investment
  4. supporting Australian business.

Economic diplomacy supports prosperity

“If the goal of traditional diplomacy is peace, then the goal of economic diplomacy is prosperity

Julie Bishop | Address to the Sydney Institute | Sydney | 2014
Julie Bishop and Li Keqiang shaking hands
Foreign Minister meets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during ceremonial welcome for Prime Minister Tony Abbott - Sanya, Hainan Island, China - 9 April 2014

Australia’s prosperity is more connected than ever to developments in the global economy. Our trade with the world is equivalent to 42% of our GDP – a number that hasn’t dropped below 25% since 1900.

The stock of foreign investment in Australia is at record highs of A$2.8 trillion, while Australia’s investments around the world total A$2.0 trillion (2014).

Australia has the world’s 5th highest GDP per capita and has the 12th largest economy. But to sustain this performance requires strong international engagement.

Economic diplomacy directly supports the prosperity of Australians. Australia has a strong economy, built on our tradition of trading with the world, strong flows of international investment, a dynamic private sector, and a consistent program of economic reform. Sustaining our prosperity into the future will require strong economic diplomacy in support of our global economic interests.

Economic diplomacy directly supports the prosperity of Australians by liberalising trade, boosting economic growth, encouraging investment and assisting business.


Opening market opportunities, boosting growth, investment and jobs.

Trade and investment


Information on foreign investment in Australia and Australia's foreign investment policy.



Australian aid: promoting prosperity, reducing poverty, enhancing stability.

Australia's aid program


Support for Australian business, working closely with other agencies.