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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 2020, the total amount of Australian money invested overseas was valued at $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 2020, Australian investments in the US totalled $864 billion and our investment in the UK was $615 billion.

Australian investment in Asia has increased dramatically over the past decade. Between 2010 and 2020, 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 $135 billion to $396 billion.

The table below shows the top 20 economies where Australia invests (as at the end of 2020). Totals are in A$ billion and include both direct, portfolio investment and other investment.

Where does Australia invest?
2020, A$ billion
Rank in 2020 Economy 2018 2019 2020 % of total % change 2019 to 2020 5-year trend
% growth
1 United States 730.2 836.8 863.6 28.4 3.2 6.0
2 United Kingdom 406.6 510.3 615.2 20.2 20.5 12.6
3 New Zealand 96.4 130.9 124.7 4.1 -4.8 6.2
4 Japan 113.4 139.5 112.4 3.7 -19.4 4.4
5 Canada 80.6 82.4 94.1 3.1 14.1 19.9
6 Cayman Islands 79.5 82.3 89.6 2.9 8.9 13.2
7 Germany 74.0 98.5 88.9 2.9 -9.7 7.5
8 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 52.6 66.8 71.1 2.3 6.4 8.3
9 China 79.2 85.3 64.0 2.1 -25.0 0.6
10 Singapore 73.5 83.7 63.2 2.1 -24.5 4.2
11 France 54.2 52.4 62.9 2.1 20.1 3.3
12 Netherlands 45.8 44.2 44.0 1.4 -0.4 1.7
13 Bermuda 37.9 38.6 37.9 1.2 -1.9 -1.7
14 Switzerland 26.8 34.3 32.4 1.1 -5.5 10.6
15 Ireland 15.5 20.9 31.6 1.0 51.5 19.2
16 Republic of Korea 21.3 22.2 24.9 0.8 12.3 9.5
17 Luxembourg 21.2 19.0 17.7 0.6 -6.8 0.6
18 Papua New Guinea 17.4 17.1 17.6 0.6 3.2 -1.2
19 Timor-Leste 10.5 np 16.9 0.6 .. ..
20 Taiwan 10.1 16.8 15.6 0.5 -7.0 26.8
  All economies 2,550.7 2,959.4 3,043.7 100.0 2.8 7.7
Based on ABS catalogue 5352.0. Last Updated: May 2021.

How does this compare with other economies?

Australia is the 15th-largest international direct investor the world.

The table below shows how our level of direct outward investment compared with other economies in 2020. Yearly values are in US$ billion.

Economies ranked by direct foreign outward investment 2020, US$ billion
Rank in 2020 Economy 2018 2019 2020 % of total % change 2019 to 2020 5-year trend
% growth
1 United States 6,375.7 7,650.0 8,128.5 20.7 6.3 5.3
2 Netherlands 1,980.2 2,089.7 3,797.6 9.7 81.7 13.0
3 China 1,982.3 2,198.9 2,351.8 6.0 7.0 16.5
4 United Kingdom 1,788.2 1,965.9 2,055.4 5.2 4.6 5.5
5 Japan 1,568.8 1,780.2 1,982.1 5.1 11.3 10.0
6 Germany 1,707.7 1,775.8 1,977.2 5.0 11.3 7.9
7 Canada 1,379.9 1,720.4 1,964.4 5.0 14.2 10.2
8 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 1,829.4 1,804.5 1,953.9 5.0 8.3 4.9
9 France 1,499.1 1,532.8 1,721.8 4.4 12.3 6.2
10 Switzerland 1,488.3 1,499.1 1,628.9 4.2 8.7 6.4
11 Singapore 1,018.4 1,103.3 1,220.7 3.1 10.6 10.0
12 Ireland 967.9 1,085.9 1,206.7 3.1 11.1 6.2
13 Luxembourg 226.4 217.2 887.0 2.3 308.5 24.1
14 Belgium 592.3 676.4 677.7 1.7 0.2 1.9
15 Australia 499.2 581.3 627.3 1.6 7.9 8.6
16 Spain 600.1 626.3 624.8 1.6 -0.2 4.1
17 Italy 554.9 557.0 596.2 1.5 7.0 5.7
18 Republic of Korea 405.2 456.0 500.9 1.3 9.8 12.3
19 Cyprus 451.4 460.6 492.3 1.3 6.9 3.7
20 Sweden 395.7 410.5 464.5 1.2 13.2 5.3
  Other economies 3,907.5 4,159.1 4,387.3 11.2 5.5 6.3
  All economies 31,218.6 34,350.8 39,247.0 100.0 14.3 3.7
Source: UNCTAD World Investment Report - Annex tables. Last Updated: October 2021.

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