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Foreign investment statistics

Statistics on where Australia invests

Australian businesses invest huge amounts of money in other economies. At the end of 2019, the total amount of Australian money invested overseas was around $3.0 trillion.

Where does Australia invest?

The United States and the United Kingdom remain the two largest economies for Australian investment. At the end of 2019, Australian investments in the US totalled $837 billion and our investment in the UK was $507 billion.

Australian investment in Asia has increased dramatically over the past decade. Between 2009 and 2019, 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 $120 billion to $472 billion.

The table below shows the top 17 economies where Australia invests (as at the end of 2019). Totals are in A$ billion and include both direct, portfolio investment and other investment.

Where does Australia invest?
2019, A$ billion
Rank in 2019 Economy 2017 2018 2019 % of total % change 2018 to 2019 5-year trend
% growth
1 United States 683.4 729.0 837.4 28.4 14.9 5.7
2 United Kingdom 347.9 406.3 507.4 17.2 24.9 7.8
3 Japan 125.0 113.3 139.6 4.7 23.1 12.0
4 New Zealand 103.7 96.5 130.5 4.4 35.2 5.3
5 Germany 74.1 73.4 97.1 3.3 32.2 6.9
6 China 77.3 79.1 85.3 2.9 7.7 7.7
7 Singapore 59.9 73.0 84.1 2.8 15.1 10.6
8 Canada 49.9 79.8 83.4 2.8 4.6 16.7
9 Cayman Islands 65.6 79.5 82.4 2.8 3.7 16.3
10 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 49.3 52.7 63.4 2.1 20.4 5.2
11 France 50.1 54.2 52.4 1.8 -3.4 3.3
12 Netherlands 43.4 45.8 44.4 1.5 -3.1 3.4
13 Bermuda 41.7 37.9 38.7 1.3 1.9 1.1
14 Switzerland 36.1 26.5 33.7 1.1 27.4 7.6
15 Republic of Korea 20.0 21.5 22.7 0.8 5.5 9.1
16 Ireland 16.9 15.5 21.5 0.7 38.2 14.4
17 India 13.9 15.6 19.9 0.7 27.8 15.3
  All economies 2,369.4 2,547.7 2,953.1 100.0 15.9 7.5
Based on ABS catalogue 5352.0. Last Updated: May 2020.

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 2018. Yearly values are in US$ billion.

Economies ranked by direct foreign outward investment 2018, US$ billion
Rank in 2018 Economy 2016 2017 2018 % of total % change 2017 to 2018 5-year trend % growth
1 United States 6,412.1 7,828.7 6,474.7 20.9 -17.3 2.5
2 Netherlands 2,183.5 2,523.2 2,427.3 7.8 -3.8 13.7
3 China 1,357.4 1,809.0 1,938.9 6.3 7.2 24.8
4 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 1,546.7 1,813.3 1,870.1 6.0 3.1 8.1
5 United Kingdom 1,492.0 1,773.6 1,696.5 5.5 -4.3 -0.6
6 Japan 1,315.2 1,494.6 1,665.2 5.4 11.4 8.5
7 Germany 1,367.7 1,645.1 1,645.4 5.3 0.0 2.7
8 France 1,284.9 1,466.5 1,507.8 4.9 2.8 3.0
9 Canada 1,252.0 1,485.4 1,325.0 4.3 -10.8 5.1
10 Switzerland 1,233.2 1,263.3 1,263.4 4.1 0.0 2.4
11 Singapore 794.2 962.3 1,021.1 3.3 6.1 10.8
12 Ireland 856.6 860.1 912.2 2.9 6.1 10.8
13 British Virgin Islands 787.5 842.2 898.2 2.9 6.7 8.4
14 Belgium 610.1 689.7 578.0 1.9 -16.2 4.0
15 Spain 510.7 583.2 562.9 1.8 -3.5 1.8
16 Italy 468.5 557.1 548.8 1.8 -1.5 1.4
17 Australia 432.0 496.0 491.0 1.6 -1.0 1.7
18 Republic of Korea 310.2 360.6 387.6 1.3 7.5 10.4
19 Sweden 358.3 388.9 371.1 1.2 -4.6 -2.7
20 Russian Federation 334.3 380.0 344.1 1.1 -9.5 0.1
  All economies 27,620.6 32,383.0 30,974.9   -4.3 3.7
Source: UNCTADstat database. Last Updated: July 2019.

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