Statistics on where Australia invests

Australian businesses invest huge amounts of money in other economies. At the end of 2017, the total amount of Australian money invested overseas was around $2.3 trillion.

Where does Australia invest?

The United States and the United Kingdom remain the two largest economies for Australian investment. At the end of 2017, Australian investments in the US totalled $665 billion and our investment in the UK was $333 billion.

Australian investment in Asia has increased dramatically over the past decade. Between 2007 and 2017, our investments to major Asian economies (China, Hong Kong (SAR of China), India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan and all ASEAN members) has increased from $110 billion to $390 billion.

The table below shows the top 14 economies where Australia invests (as at the end of 2017). Totals are in A$ billion and include both direct, portfolio investment and other investment.

Where does Australia invest?
2017, A$ billion

Rank
in 2017*
Economy 2015 2016 2017 % of total % change 2016
to 2017
5-year trend
% growth
1 United States 653.9 660.9 664.5 29.1 0.5 8.8
2 United Kingdom 339.3 331.0 333.1 14.6 0.6 7.3
3 Japan 94.7 108.9 125.1 5.5 14.9 25.7
4 New Zealand 92.7 104.2 103.0 4.5 -1.2 6.3
5 China 62.5 83.0 77.1 3.4 -7.1 28.7
6 Germany 67.3 66.9 73.6 3.2 10.0 6.1
7 Cayman Islands 49.2 53.8 63.3 2.8 17.8 21.7
8 Singapore 61.0 58.7 59.4 2.6 1.1 16.5
9 France 47.9 57.5 51.0 2.2 -11.3 12.6
10 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 48.5 50.9 47.4 2.1 -6.9 13.2
11 Canada 42.4 43.0 46.9 2.1 9.0 -0.9
12 Netherlands 39.7 43.9 43.6 1.9 -0.8 7.9
13 Switzerland 19.9 21.4 35.9 1.6 67.5 10.4
14 Republic of Korea 15.2 17.8 19.9 0.9 11.9 11.9
  All economies 2,104.6 2,204.2 2,280.2   3.4 9.1
* Ranking should only be used down to Top 14 in 2017 - confidentiality comes into play below this level to give unrealistic positions. PNG is most likely ranked at 15th.

Based on ABS catalogue 5352.0. Last updated: May 2018.

How does this compare with other economies?

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

The table below shows how our level of direct outward investment compared with other economies in 2017. Yearly values are in US$ billion.

Economies ranked by direct foreign outward investment
2017, US$ billion

Rank in
2017
Economy 2015 2016 2017 % of total % change 2016
to 2017
5-year trend
% growth
1 United States 6,007.8 6,361.4 7,799.0 25.3 22.6 5.9
2 Hong Kong, China 1,531.4 1,546.7 1,804.2 5.9 16.7 8.7
3 Germany 1,349.9 1,335.8 1,607.4 5.2 20.3 -0.8
4 Netherlands 1,229.8 1,397.8 1,604.9 5.2 14.8 9.2
5 United Kingdom 1,557.4 1,492.0 1,531.7 5.0 2.7 -3.2
6 Japan 1,228.8 1,315.1 1,520.0 4.9 15.6 7.3
7 Canada 1,097.1 1,252.0 1,487.1 4.8 18.8 7.1
8 China 1,097.9 1,357.4 1,482.0 4.8 9.2 23.9
9 France 1,268.2 1,279.7 1,451.7 4.7 13.4 1.5
10 Switzerland 1,136.6 1,198.9 1,271.8 4.1 6.1 1.1
11 Ireland 909.6 842.0 899.5 2.9 6.8 17.5
12 British Virgin Islands 772.2 808.9 879.7 2.9 8.7 12.1
13 Singapore 711.7 744.8 841.4 2.7 13.0 7.5
14 Belgium 610.2 590.6 690.8 2.2 17.0 8.5
15 Spain 492.5 527.3 597.3 1.9 13.3 -1.4
16 Italy 468.4 473.2 532.9 1.7 12.6 -1.0
17 Australia 389.0 401.3 460.6 1.5 14.8 -2.0
18 Sweden 369.4 372.9 401.0 1.3 7.5 -1.9
19 Russian Federation 282.7 334.3 382.3 1.2 14.4 0.3
20 Brazil 323.3 341.5 358.9 1.2 5.1 5.1
  All economies 25,514.3 26,825.6 30,837.9   15.0 3.7

Source: UNCTADstat database. Last updated: June 2018

Last Updated: 13 June 2018