Australia

With the fifth largest economy in the Asia-Pacific region and the 13th largest in the world, Australia offers a wealth of opportunities. 26 years of steady growth - and one of the highest qualities of life in the world - make this increasingly diverse and multicultural nation an ideal place in which to do business.

 

Welcome to Australia

Australia is renowned for its amazing weather, passion for sport and spectacular landscapes. Success across multiple industry sectors, a highly skilled workforce and connections to fast-growing Asian markets position Australia as the perfect business destination.

HSBC was established in Australia in 1965, with a full banking licence obtained in 1986. Today, the HSBC Group offers an extensive range of financial services through a network of 35 branches and five offices in Australia including retail and commercial banking, financial planning, trade finance, treasury and financial markets, global liquidity and cash management and securities custody.

As one of Australia’s leading international banks, we are very well positioned to help your business thrive.

I am delighted to welcome you and very much look forward to working together!

Martin Tricaud
Martin Tricaud Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Australia

Head office address: Level 36, Tower 1 – International Towers Sydney, 100 Barangaroo Avenue, Sydney NSW 2000

Essentials

Population
24.8 million1
Size
7,692,024 sq km
Main languages
English
Capital city
Canberra
Other major cities
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide
Currency
Australian Dollar (AUD)
Dialling code
+61
GDP
USD48,243 per capita2
Top exports
Iron ores and concentrates, mineral fuels including oil, gems and precious metals, meat, cereals, machinery including computers, inorganic chemicals, aluminium, and electrical machinery and equipment3
Top imports
Machinery including computers, vehicles, electrical machinery and equipment, mineral fuels including oil, pharmaceuticals, gems and precious metals, plastics, furniture and articles of iron or steel3
Unemployment rate
5.5%1
Corporation tax
30%1
Typical office hours
8.30 or 9.30am until 4.30 or 5.30pm, Monday to Friday
Time zone
UTC +8
Emergency numbers
000 (police, fire and ambulance)

Australia: A land of plenty

Ranked

# 14

for ease of doing business (in a survey of 190 measured economies by The World Bank)

  • Thriving economy

    Resource-rich Australia continues to extend its 26-year streak without recession, a modern-era record for uninterrupted growth. This stellar run is also forecast to carry on at a steady rate.

  • Growing population

    Australia’s population has more than doubled since 1966, fuelled by an increase in birth rate, life expectancy and migration. And it’s not stopping at 25 million either, with the population predicted to increase by almost 50% to 35.9 million by 2050.

  • Asia-Pacific ties

    Australia is located close to Asia, the new epicentre of global economic growth. It has a strong brand in China and is well known throughout Asia as the outpost of the English-speaking world.

  • Regional hub

    Home to many multinational organisations with operations in Asia, Australia is a regional leader that influences business across Asia-Pacific.

  • Spending power

    Growth in consumer spending is driving the domestic economy. Household wealth is high. And at 66%, Australia also has one of the highest middle-class populations.

  • Safe environment

    Australia’s political stability, transparent regulatory system and sound governance frameworks underpin its economic resilience. It also has a quality of life that is rated among the best in the world.

Country profile

Situated between the India and Pacific Oceans, Australia is a land of contrasts. From verdant tropical rainforests to its arid red centre, the many incredible beaches and its growing urban spread.

Australia is a truly unique and diverse country. Its multicultural, multiracial landscape is reflected in all areas of society and its indigenous heritage continues to play a defining role.

This vast island continent contains 19 listed World Heritage sites, and is renowned for its landmark architecture including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, along with its ancient geology such as the striking landscapes of Uluru.

Each state and territory of Australia has its own government, though the country is governed by two main political parties.

Although it may appear geographically isolated, Australia’s businesses are becoming increasingly more prosperous by looking outwards onto the international stage.

Australia is the sixth largest country by land mass, with one of the longest coastlines in the world.

All of this combines to make Australia one of the global economic success stories of recent decades with low unemployment, a highly skilled workforce and thriving business community.

Read on to discover more about the dos and don’ts of doing business in Australia. Also find out how trading in or with the country could help boost the future growth of your enterprise.

5 reasons to do business in Australia1

  1. Five star industries
    What Australia does, it does well. It’s a country successful in five key industries: resources and energy, agribusiness, financial services, education and tourism.
  2. A rich talent pool
    With one of the best education systems in the world, Australia’s labour force is among the most skilled and diverse of any country.
  3. Excellent connectivity
    Australia is rolling out super-fast internet to 95% of its population. Digital technologies today enable businesses to seamlessly connect, collaborate and sell to overseas markets.
  4. The land of innovation
    Australia spends a significant amount of money each year on research and development (R&D). Its intellectual capital, commercial focus and collaborative approach make it an ideal partner for business and investment activities.
  5. A proud small business nation
    The nation has an estimated two million small and medium-sized businesses, from tradesmen to farmers, retailers, professionals and builders. They are Australia’s driving force.

5 key challenges2

  1. 1

    Vast continent

    The distances between Australia’s major cities are huge. Almost 4,000 km separate Sydney from Perth by car, the equivalent of driving for over 60 hours. Even Melbourne is 875 km from Sydney.

  2. 2

    Extreme weather

    While Australia’s climate is a big attraction for many, temperature extremes can pose challenges in many industries. It is estimated that extreme weather costs the economy AUD7 billion a year.

  3. 3

    Visa crackdown

    Australia introduced a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018. This allows a Short-Term stream of up to two years and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years. As part of this programme, it is tightening eligibility requirements for employer-sponsored permanent skilled visas.

  4. 4

    Paying taxes

    The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry highlighted paying taxes as a concern for businesses, some of whom raised grievances over the increase in superannuation levy from 9% to 12%.

  5. 5

    Getting to grips with GST

    There is a levy of 10% charged on most goods and services consumed in Australia. Better known as ‘GST’, there are several exclusions, which may not be immediately obvious. Examples of GST-exempt goods include most food staples and medicines.