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Foreign investment statistics

Statistics on who invests in Australia

Foreign economies had a total of $4.0 trillion invested in Australia at the end of 2020.

Which economies invest in Australia?

The United States and United Kingdom are the biggest investors in Australia, followed by Belgium, Japan and Hong Kong (SAR of China).

China is our ninth largest foreign investor, with 2.0 per cent of the total. However, the levels of Hong Kong (SAR of China) and Chinese investment in Australia have grown significantly over the past decade.

The table below shows the top 20 foreign investors in Australia at the end of 2020. Yearly values are in A$ billion and include both direct, portfolio investment and other investment.

Which economies invest in Australia? 2020, A$ billion
Rank in 2020 Economy 2018 2019 2020 % of total % change 2019 to 2020 5-year trend
% growth
1 United States 957.2 1,013.5 929.4 23.3 -8.3 2.3
2 United Kingdom 583.8 687.3 737.6 18.5 7.3 9.1
3 Belgium (a) 315.3 348.0 408.6 10.2 17.4 10.0
4 Japan 234.4 243.9 264.5 6.6 8.5 4.5
5 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 123.7 144.5 141.6 3.5 -2.0 10.9
6 Singapore 90.2 100.1 116.5 2.9 16.4 3.2
7 Luxembourg 78.1 86.7 104.7 2.6 20.8 9.5
8 Netherlands 84.1 88.6 84.0 2.1 -5.1 4.8
9 China 68.5 79.3 79.2 2.0 -0.2 0.3
10 New Zealand 47.1 64.5 66.3 1.7 2.9 11.1
11 Canada 53.3 59.8 64.9 1.6 8.4 11.7
12 Switzerland 50.7 58.3 57.5 1.4 -1.4 0.2
13 Germany 48.4 50.4 47.2 1.2 -6.4 3.3
14 France 48.8 35.7 42.7 1.1 19.8 14.4
15 Bermuda 46.6 44.7 41.7 1.0 -6.6 1.7
16 Ireland 22.1 28.6 35.8 0.9 25.2 8.8
17 Republic of Korea 30.7 31.7 32.7 0.8 3.2 7.5
18 Norway 19.7 25.4 25.9 0.6 2.0 13.8
19 Virgin Islands, British 24.0 24.4 25.6 0.6 4.9 1.6
20 Malaysia 22.4 22.4 19.2 0.5 -14.2 -0.4
  All economies 3,577.8 3,893.8 3,990.9 100.0 2.5 5.6
(a) The majority of total investment from Belgium is portfolio investment liabilities in the form of debt securities (Belgium hosts a major clearing house and depository for euro-denominated bonds and other securities, Euroclear).
Based on ABS catalogue 5352.0. Last Updated: May 2021.

How does this compare with other economies?

Australia has the 14th-highest amount of direct foreign inward investment in the world.

The table below shows how our level of direct inward investment compared with other economies in 2019. Yearly values are in US$ billion.

Economies ranked by direct foreign inward investment 2019, US$ billion
Rank in 2019 Economy 2017 2018 2019 % of total % change 2018 to 2019 5-year trend
% growth
1 United States 7,844.2 7,432.1 9,465.8 26.0 27.4 11.2
2 United Kingdom 1,805.8 1,930.5 2,075.3 5.7 7.5 6.7
3 Hong Kong (SAR of China) 1,943.9 1,963.3 1,867.9 5.1 -4.9 5.6
4 China 1,490.0 1,628.3 1,769.5 4.9 8.7 10.2
5 Netherlands 1,692.6 1,685.1 1,749.8 4.8 3.8 4.9
6 Singapore 1,393.4 1,536.1 1,697.6 4.7 10.5 11.3
7 Switzerland 1,352.5 1,354.5 1,350.7 3.7 -0.3 12.1
8 Ireland 1,058.0 1,000.4 1,120.3 3.1 12.0 16.6
9 Canada 966.7 852.2 1,037.1 2.8 21.7 1.3
10 Germany 963.1 934.4 953.3 2.6 2.0 3.6
11 France 819.3 820.6 868.7 2.4 5.9 5.2
12 British Virgin Islands 709.3 768.1 826.1 2.3 7.6 8.1
13 Spain 702.0 735.5 751.5 2.1 2.2 6.3
14 Australia 699.6 701.8 714.2 2.0 1.8 5.3
15 Brazil 623.0 568.7 640.7 1.8 12.7 3.7
16 Mexico 490.6 511.3 628.5 1.7 22.9 3.8
17 Belgium 602.3 555.9 566.1 1.6 1.8 0.7
18 Cayman Islands 463.5 480.3 515.0 1.4 7.2 10.7
19 Russian Federation 441.1 408.1 463.9 1.3 13.7 11.4
20 Italy 424.7 428.3 445.7 1.2 4.1 6.0
  All economies 33,218.4 32,943.9 36,470.2 100.0 10.7 4.5
Source: UNCTADstat database. Last Updated: October 2020.

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