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!
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Australia. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.
With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Australia and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.
Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics: