Statistics on where Australia invests

Australian businesses invest huge amounts of money in other economies. At the end of 2018, the total amount of Australian money invested overseas was around $2.5 trillion.

Where does Australia invest?

The United States and the United Kingdom remain the two largest economies for Australian investment. At the end of 2018, Australian investments in the US totalled $719 billion and our investment in the UK was $408 billion.

Australian investment in Asia has increased dramatically over the past decade. Between 2008 and 2018, 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 $108 billion to $395 billion.

The table below shows the top 20 economies where Australia invests (as at the end of 2018). Totals are in A$ billion and include both direct, portfolio investment and other investment.

Where does Australia invest?
2018, A$ billion

Rank in 2018 Economy 2016 2017 2018 % of total % change 2017 to 2018 5-year trend
% growth
1 United States 673.1 677.0 718.9 28.3 6.2 6.0
2 United Kingdom 343.9 346.4 408.0 16.1 17.8 6.0
3 Japan 108.9 125.2 113.0 4.5 -9.8 17.3
4 New Zealand 104.2 103.8 96.7 3.8 -6.8 3.3
5 Cayman Islands 53.8 63.8 77.5 3.1 21.5 19.4
6 Germany 66.9 74.1 77.3 3.0 4.3 4.7
7 Canada 43.3 48.6 77.3 3.0 59.0 6.5
8 China 83.0 77.2 75.3 3.0 -2.4 14.1
9 Singapore 58.8 59.9 72.7 2.9 21.4 11.4
10 France 57.5 49.6 58.5 2.3 18.0 9.2
11 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 51.1 49.3 52.2 2.1 6.0 8.1
12 Netherlands 43.8 43.3 45.9 1.8 5.8 5.4
13 Bermuda 42.3 41.7 37.5 1.5 -10.1 18.7
14 Switzerland 21.4 36.1 26.5 1.0 -26.6 6.1
15 Republic of Korea 17.8 20.0 21.6 0.9 8.2 10.3
16 Luxembourg 18.2 18.0 21.1 0.8 17.2 3.8
17 Papua New Guinea 18.3 18.2 16.9 0.7 -7.4 ..
18 India 10.4 13.9 15.6 0.6 11.9 15.5
19 Ireland 14.5 16.9 15.5 0.6 -8.2 16.9
20 Timor-Leste np np 10.4 0.4 .. ..
  All economies 2,268.8 2,358.6 2,538.8   7.6 7.4

Based on ABS catalogue 5352.0.
Last updated: May 2019.

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: 14 May 2019