Background To Business in Australia

Australia is a very large country with a relatively small population – it is about the same size as the 48 States which make up the bulk of the USA but has a population half the size of that of California. Vast tracts of the country are virtually uninhabited (and many would say uninhabitable), making Australia one of the most urbanised countries in the world.

The lack of a domestic market of any real size, coupled with a comparative level of geographic isolation, means that Australian businesses increasingly recognise the need to look at international markets to ensure their own future prosperity as well as the future well-being of the country. Indeed, a criticism that has been levelled against Australian business organisations has been their slowness to take up the challenge of internationalisation (with the notable exception of the mining industry.)

Thus, Australia finds itself needing to become ever more international in its outlook both economically and politically. Their extremely successful economy is dependent upon trade with both the US and increasingly with key Asian countries such as China, Japan and India. Traditional British Commonwealth links have been declining in importance over several decades.

In short Australia is a small market with a highly educated, affluent population which realises the importance of international trade – they are waiting to do business with you!

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Australia

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

Free Download


Australia has been through an unprecedented period of quarter-upon-quarter GDP growth, mainly fuelled by the rapid growth of the Chinese economy and China’s seemingly limitless demand for the natural resources which are abundant in Australia. This export-led growth trajectory has been in efffect for a number of decades and has enabled Australians to enjoy an enviable lifestyle.

The benefits which have accrued from its relationship with China (and other Asian economies) have allowed Australia to develop a sophisticated service sector and at the same time build state-of-the-art infrastructure across the vastness that of a country that is also a continent. However, there is also some fragility inherent in that success – what impact might recession in China have on Australia? Would employment be severely damaged if such a recession were to occur?

If you are considering doing business in Australia – and there are many reasons why you should – you need to do some research on the business culture you are likely to find when you get there. Despite historic links to the UK many observers feel that Australian business culture is more akin to the way things are done in the US. At Global Business Culture we believe that Australia takes after neither the UK nor the US and that it has developed its own distinct and unique approach.

If you arrive in Sydney thinking you can do business in Australia in the same way it is done in any other culture, you are likely to be proved wrong. Australians have a strong sense of self-reliance and their business culture reflects that characteristic.

This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of Australian business culture in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips