Statistics on who invests in Australia

Foreign countries had a total of $3.2 trillion invested in Australia at the end of 2016.

Which countries invest in Australia?

The United States and United Kingdom are the biggest investors in Australia, followed by Belgium, Japan and Hong Kong (SAR of China).

China is our seventh largest foreign investor, with 2.7 per cent of the total. However, the levels of Hong Kong (SAR of China) and Chinese investment in Australia have grown significantly over the past decade.

The table below shows the top 20 foreign investors in Australia at the end of 2016. Yearly values are in A$ billion and include both direct and portfolio investment.

Value of total investment in Australia by country (A$ billion, 2016)
Rank in 2016 Country 2014 2015 2016 % of total % change 2015 to 2016 5-year trend % growth
1 United States 782.6 877.5 860.9 27.0 -1.9 10.9
2 United Kingdom 477.7 482.6 515.5 16.1 6.8 3.4
3 Belgium 225.8 247.1 270.1 8.5 9.3 56.1
4 Japan 181.2 200.8 213.5 6.7 6.3 10.4
5 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 74.1 85.9 100.9 3.2 17.5 17.7
6 Singapore 87.4 98.8 98.9 3.1 0.2 14.9
7 China 66.4 75.9 87.2 2.7 15.0 37.9
8 Netherlands 58.2 66.3 74.7 2.3 12.6 14.7
9 Luxembourg 59.0 59.9 74.0 2.3 23.7 15.7
10 Switzerland 50.5 54.2 59.1 1.9 9.1 2.8
11 New Zealand 36.6 39.7 46.2 1.4 16.4 10.9
12 Canada 36.0 38.2 42.6 1.3 11.4 10.0
13 Germany 40.5 41.0 38.8 1.2 -5.4 16.1
14 France 21.4 22.3 28.3 0.9 26.9 7.2
15 Bermuda 31.0 25.1 27.2 0.9 8.4 37.8
16 Ireland 16.3 20.5 26.1 0.8 27.4 45.6
17 British Virgin Islands 19.9 22.9 24.2 0.8 5.7 ..
18 Republic of Korea 21.7 23.4 23.6 0.7 0.9 14.7
19 Malaysia 21.0 20.4 20.5 0.6 0.1 6.9
20 Norway 13.2 13.5 15.8 0.5 16.6 29.6
All countries 2,805.5 3,039.1 3,192.4 5.0 9.2

Based on ABS catalogue 5352.0. Updated July 2017.

How does this compare with other countries?

Australia has the 14th-highest amount of direct foreign inward investment in the world.

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

Countries ranked by direct foreign inward investment (US$ billion, 2016)
Rank in 2016 Country 2014 2015 2016 % of total % change 2015 to 2016 5-year trend % growth
1 United States 5,442.0 5,571.2 6,391.3 23.9 14.7 12.6
2 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 1,496.1 1,591.6 1,590.8 6.0 -0.1 8.3
3 China 1,085.3 1,220.9 1,354.4 5.1 10.9 13.7
4 United Kingdom 1,628.6 1,408.3 1,196.5 4.5 -15.0 0.5
5 Singapore 1,019.5 1,082.0 1,096.3 4.1 1.3 10.0
6 Canada 958.1 760.7 956.1 3.6 25.7 -0.5
7 Ireland 416.1 866.2 839.6 3.1 -3.1 24.9
8 Netherlands 717.4 719.4 801.1 3.0 11.4 4.4
9 Switzerland 779.1 839.8 793.1 3.0 -5.6 3.2
10 Germany 850.0 786.9 771.0 2.9 -2.0 -6.5
11 France 700.1 688.9 697.6 2.6 1.3 -0.2
12 British Virgin Islands 545.8 574.6 633.7 2.4 10.3 13.9
13 Brazil 614.9 468.7 625.9 2.3 33.5 -3.7
14 Australia 561.9 535.9 576.0 2.2 7.5 -0.7
15 Spain 605.7 557.4 556.6 2.1 -0.1 -3.1
16 Belgium 476.4 455.4 474.9 1.8 4.3 -10.7
17 Mexico 486.9 509.3 473.5 1.8 -7.0 4.0
18 Russian Federation 290.0 262.7 379.0 1.4 44.3 -6.6
19 Cayman Islands 245.2 308.6 353.6 1.3 14.6 17.3
20 Italy 352.5 337.1 346.4 1.3 2.8 -1.4
All countries 25,107.9 25,190.6 26,728.3 6.1 4.5

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