Australia's economic performance is among the best in the world and the outlook continues to remain bright.
Australian inward foreign direct investment stock reached A$376.9 billion at the end of 2007, a 15.2% increase on 2006 and a 51.2% increase on 2002. On top of that, the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook ranked Australia the most resilient economy in the world for six of the past seven years.
Indeed, with 17 years of uninterrupted economic growth, Australia's reputation as a highly competitive economy continues to strengthen. In 2008, the Australian economy was ranked in the top three countries in the Asia-Pacific region for its overall competitiveness, and among the countries with population of 20 million or more Australia ranks second, behind only the United States
While the resource sector is booming, Australia is now predominantly a services-based economy, with services accounting for almost 80% of economic activity.
Australia's diverse, multicultural society has a very high standard of living and a long-standing democratic culture based on the rights of the individual and the rule of law. It has a high degree of social harmony, is politically stable and enjoys a quality of life that is among the best in the world.
Australia is a highly cost competitive location, with high productivity, a stable business environment and access to highly skilled people and innovative technology.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has reinforced Australia's performance with the finding that "Australia is the developed world's third most popular destination for transnational corporations establishing or relocating their headquarters".
As a 'window' to the Asia-Pacific region, the Australian business environment is highly regarded by the international business community. Building on its position in the region with a network of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), Australia currently has FTAs in place with the United States, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand and Chile and is also negotiating FTAs with China, Malaysia, Japan, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
With a regulatory framework that keeps pace with financial market developments, Australia possesses an internationalised currency, no foreign exchange controls, and a highly effective regime for intellectual property rights.