Statistics on where Australia invests

Australian businesses invest huge amounts of money in other countries. At the end of 2016, the total amount of Australian money invested overseas was around $2.2 trillion.

Where does Australia invest?

The United States and the United Kingdom remain the two largest countries for Australian investment. At the end of 2016, Australian investments in the US totalled $617 billion and our investment in the UK was $351 billion.

Australian investment in Asia has increased dramatically over the past decade. Between 2006 and 2016, our investments in major Asian economies increased from $98 billion to $381 billion.

The table below shows the top 20 economies where Australia invests (as at the end of 2016). Totals are in A$ billion and include both direct and portfolio investment.

Rank
in 2016
Country 2014 2015 2016 % of total % change 2015
to 2016
5-year trend
% growth
1 United States 574.9 606.9 617.4 28.4 1.7 10.5
2 United Kingdom 329.7 351.6 350.5 16.1 -0.3 13.5
3 Japan 70.1 94.1 108.3 5.0 15.1 27.3
4 New Zealand 99.1 97.8 106.9 4.9 9.3 8.2
5 China 57.7 70.5 87.9 4.0 24.6 41.2
6 Germany 65.5 67.3 65.8 3.0 -2.2 9.6
7 Singapore 49.5 64.1 61.5 2.8 -3.9 25.0
8 France 42.3 46.4 55.1 2.5 18.7 15.0
9 Cayman Islands 39.2 49.2 53.2 2.5 8.1 23.1
10 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 46.3 48.5 52.9 2.4 9.2 20.4
11 Canada 42.4 42.4 42.4 2.0 0.0 -1.5
12 Netherlands 38.1 39.7 42.1 1.9 6.1 9.0
13 Switzerland 26.7 19.9 20.5 0.9 2.7 1.7
14 Papua New Guinea 18.9 18.2 18.0 0.8 -1.1 1.4
15 Luxembourg 17.3 17.7 17.6 0.8 -0.5 1.6
16 Republic of Korea 15.5 15.2 17.4 0.8 14.2 ..
17 Bermuda 9.4 14.6 16.5 0.8 13.1 8.7
18 Ireland 9.2 9.9 12.9 0.6 29.9 25.1
19 India 9.8 10.7 10.3 0.5 -3.0 ..
20 Sweden 7.2 7.6 9.3 0.4 21.2 15.6
All countries 1,926.0 2,078.5 2,170.8 4.4 11.5

Based on ABS catalogue 5352.0. Updated July 2017.

How does this compare with other countries?

Australia is the 17th-largest international direct investor the world.

The table below shows how our level of direct outward investment compared with other countries in 2016. Yearly values are in US$ billion.

Countries ranked by direct foreign outward investment (US$ billion, 2016)

Rank in
2016
Country 2014 2015 2016 % of total % change 2015
to 2016
5-year trend
% growth
1 United States 6,225.1 6,005.7 6,383.8 24.4 6.3 6.3
2 Hong Kong, China 1,450.2 1,531.4 1,527.9 5.8 -0.2 8.9
3 United Kingdom 1,682.0 1,558.2 1,443.9 5.5 -7.3 -3.4
4 Japan 1,152.0 1,226.6 1,400.7 5.4 14.2 7.2
5 Germany 1,383.7 1,376.2 1,365.4 5.2 -0.8 -2.1
6 China 882.6 1,097.9 1,281.0 4.9 16.7 25.6
7 France 1,294.2 1,254.8 1,259.4 4.8 0.4 -0.1
8 Netherlands 1,045.4 1,116.9 1,256.0 4.8 12.5 4.0
9 Canada 1,089.9 1,074.1 1,220.0 4.7 13.6 5.4
10 Switzerland 1,085.4 1,129.8 1,130.9 4.3 0.1 -0.4
11 British Virgin Islands 675.4 771.9 866.8 3.3 12.3 15.1
12 Ireland 619.4 887.5 832.7 3.2 -6.2 22.4
13 Singapore 652.6 651.8 682.4 2.6 4.7 6.0
14 Spain 526.8 491.1 516.1 2.0 5.1 -5.7
15 Italy 490.7 467.3 460.4 1.8 -1.5 -3.0
16 Belgium 460.0 446.2 453.2 1.7 1.6 -10.5
17 Australia 446.4 390.3 401.5 1.5 2.9 -2.4
18 Sweden 402.1 374.3 382.2 1.5 2.1 -1.5
19 Russian Federation 329.8 282.7 335.8 1.3 18.8 -1.0
20 Taiwan 297.1 303.1 320.9 1.2 5.9 8.9
All countries 24,685.7 24,925.2 26,159.7 5.0 3.7

Source: UNCTADstat database. Updated: July 2017

For more information

DFAT’s International Investment Australia publication offers a more detailed snapshot of Australia’s inward and outward investments.

Last Updated: 6 November 2017