Money Mover Country Report - Australia

Posted on the 5th December 2017 by Dorianne Sager in Country Reports

Australia - Ayers rock


If countries were people, then Australia would be the boy all the girls wanted to date in high school: the sun-bleached surfer dude of Queensland, the strong and silent cowboy of the Outback, the sensitive sophisticate of Sydney and Melbourne, and the rebel with a convict past.

In the 1980’s, the movie Crocodile Dundee gave the country a face with Paul Hogan whose cheeky grin, laidback swagger and invitation to “throw a shrimp on the barbie” infatuated tourists around the world and put the Land Down Under firmly on the map. Today, Paul Hogan has been replaced as global ambassador by major movie star Chris Hemsworth and a whole new generation of tourists has fallen in love. But whatever your type, with UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock, 60 different wine producing regions and world-class cities, Australia remains one of the world’s hottest tourist destinations.

The world’s smallest continent, or the world’s largest island, Australia’s civilization dates back more than 50,000 years. While Australian Aboriginals, the indigenous people, now make up less than three percent of the population they were once a thriving collection of communities centered around music, art and storytelling. Aboriginal art is considered to be the oldest continuing art tradition in the world. An Aboriginal rock painting in south-western Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory has been traced back almost 30,000 years.

Between 1606 and 1770 more than 50 European ships landed in Australia, or “Terra Australis Incognita (unknown land of the South) as it was first known. British navigator and astronomer Captain James Cook first set foot on the island in 1770 and declared the whole east coast of Australia as English territory, renaming it “New South Wales.” It remains a British Colony despite some recent efforts to declare itself a Republic. Considered an ideal location to create a penal colony to stash its overflowing population, the British government transported 164,000 convicts to Australia between 1788-1868. Today, around 20% of Australians are descended from convicts; what was once considered a shameful lineage is now a point of pride, and a great diner party conversation starter.

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Australia is its unique collection of plants and animals that have thrived in their geographic isolation. You won’t find kangaroos or koalas anywhere else. Luckily, for the rest of the world, Australian spiders and snakes, some of the most venomous in the word, have yet to be issued passports.

Trade & Industry

Australia is a robust mixed market economy; with a stable government, strong financial sector, highly skilled workforce and abundant natural resources, it is an ideal place to do business. It has been 26 years since the country experienced a recession and they recently set the (developed) world record for the longest, uninterrupted period of GDP growth. Australians enjoy the second highest rate of personal wealth after Switzerland; if it weren’t for the fact that over 70% of the country is classified as a desert and all ten of the world’s most deadliest animals share the same small percentage of inhabitable land, the country would rank much higher than 53 on the world’s population list.

Australia enjoys many free trade agreements with countries such as Canada, Chile, China, Japan the United States and New Zealand. Australia has developed strong trade ties with East Asia which accounted for A$380 billion in 2014 and is working hard to create more economic links with the region.

Australia and New Zealand – given their location as neighbours - have committed to a Single Economic Market (SEM) agenda to create an integrated and seamless business environment. Bilateral trade between the two countries was worth $A24 billion in 2015 and A$138 billion was invested in one another’s countries. President Trump’s anti-NAFTA supporters should take note: the SEM agenda has already been successful in improving business relationships, lowering business costs and reducing regulatory barriers between the two trading partners.

Exports and Imports

Australia’s biggest industry is mining, it is rich in natural resources such as gold, coal, opals, diamonds and uranium. The recent resources boom of the past two decades saw the mining industry peak at 8.5 percent of GDP, the biggest boom since the gold-rush of the 1840s.

Australia produces 97% of the world’s opal supply and has nearly one-third of the world’s total supply of uranium. All of the uranium produced in Australia is exported and sold for electrical power generation only. Australia signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1970 and safeguards are in place to ensure no Australian uranium is used for nuclear weapons.

According to the OEC, Australia exported $159B in 2016 with the top exports being: iron ore, coal, gold, wheat, beef and crude petroleum. Its top export markets are: China, Japan, South Korea, the US, the UK and New Zealand.

Australia imports $16B in cars, followed by refined petroleum, computers, crude oil and packaged medicaments. Its top import countries are China, the US, Japan, Germany, Singapore and New Zealand.

Currency Overview

The Australian (or Aussie) dollar has been the official currency of the country since 1966 and is the fifth most traded currency in the world behind the US dollar, the euro, the yen and pound sterling. Australia’s stability, low government intervention and proximity and close relationship to Asian economies makes it an ideal trading currency. Australia was the first country to develop and introduce polymer banknotes and they have been in circulation since 1988.

Currency Pairs

The Australian dollar is one of the world’s major currencies. The USD/AUD currency pair is the 4th most traded pair with a daily trade volume of over 5% of the entire FX market.

The most common Australian dollar minor currency pairs or major crosses are EUR/AUD, GBP/AUD, AUD/NZD, AUD/CAD and AUD/JPY.

International payments to Australia 

Australia is a low risk country and considered stable, both politically and economically. There are no known issues with making global payments to Australia.

Types of payments 

All payments are sent via SWIFT and although we can send all supported currencies to Australia, the majority of Money Mover customers send Australian dollars.

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