Skip to main content

Foreign investment statistics

Statistics on where Australia invests

Australian businesses invest huge amounts of money in other economies. At the end of 2021, the total amount of Australian money invested overseas was valued at $3.3 trillion.

Where does Australia invest?

The United States and the United Kingdom remain the two largest economies for Australian investment. At the end of 2021, Australian investments in the US totalled $1.1 trillion and our investment in the UK was $538 billion.

Australian investment in Asia has increased dramatically over the past decade. Between 2011 and 2021, 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 $129 billion to $430 billion.

The table below shows the top 20 economies where Australia invests (as at the end of 2021). Totals are in A$ billion and include both direct, portfolio investment and other investment.

Where does Australia invest?
2021, A$ billion

Rank in 2021 Economy 2019 2020 2021 % of total % change 2020 to 2021 5-year trend
% growth
1 United States 837.5 870.2 1,113.8 33.5 28.0 10.1
2 United Kingdom 540.3 628.0 537.5 16.2 -14.4 12.3
3 Japan 139.6 108.4 128.4 3.9 18.5 1.7
4 New Zealand 132.7 126.3 114.4 3.4 -9.4 3.9
5 Canada 82.7 94.4 95.1 2.9 0.8 18.1
6 Cayman Islands 82.3 80.8 94.2 2.8 16.5 10.0
7 Germany 98.6 88.2 77.4 2.3 -12.2 4.5
8 China 85.4 65.3 74.8 2.2 14.5 -2.7
9 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 66.0 68.1 65.0 2.0 -4.6 6.7
10 France 52.2 61.4 64.1 1.9 4.4 3.2
11 Singapore 84.2 63.1 61.9 1.9 -1.9 1.5
12 Netherlands 44.2 44.1 53.7 1.6 21.9 3.0
13 Ireland 20.9 31.7 46.0 1.4 45.2 25.5
14 Bermuda 39.0 38.2 39.2 1.2 2.6 -1.8
15 Switzerland 33.7 30.2 34.8 1.0 15.1 6.2
16 Republic of Korea 22.3 25.0 27.1 0.8 8.3 8.3
17 Papua New Guinea 17.1 17.2 24.8 0.7 44.6 3.9
18 Luxembourg 19.4 19.0 20.2 0.6 6.1 1.4
19 India 19.8 15.3 19.9 0.6 30.3 11.4
20 Taiwan 16.8 15.4 19.9 0.6 28.7 26.2
  All economies 2,966.5 3,051.4 3,326.7 100.0 9.0 8.3

Based on ABS catalogue 5352.0.
Last updated: May 2022.

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.

Related links

Back to top