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 speaking at a podium
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop attends the G'Day USA/ America-Australian Association gala in New York City, 22 January, 2016.

Australia’s prosperity is more connected than ever to developments in the global economy. Our trade with the world in 2016 was equivalent to 40 per cent of our GDP – a number that hasn’t dropped below 25 per cent since 1900.

The stock of foreign investment in Australia is at record highs of $3.2 trillion, while Australia’s investments around the world total $2.2 trillion (2016).

Australia has the world’s 11th highest GDP per capita and has the 13th largest economy. 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.


Pursue trade liberalisation through bilateral, regional and global trade agreements that open up new markets for Australian exporters and sustain a strong, rules-based architecture for global trade.

Trade and investment


Support global growth, including by using Australia's aid program and other measures to promote economic reform and infrastructure, and through regional and global economic cooperation forums.

Australia's aid program


Promote investment into Australia and Australian investment internationally.



Advance the interests of Australian business overseas, the development of a stronger private sector in our region, and promote Australian tourism.