How is the Australian dollar supported?


In addition to our current news overview, you will find some background information on economic topics on this page.

Key figures

Australians invest their money in stocks more often than Germans. Australian companies traditionally pay high dividends worldwide for tax reasons.

You can find an overview of some Australian stocks on our separate page on the Australian Stock Exchange:
Australian stock market

Economic system

The country, blessed with an abundance of raw materials, has become a model for the restructuring of the economy and society. In Australia, the result of the deregulation and opening that began in 1983 can be measured. About a fifth of the gross domestic product is generated through raw material exports.

The Australian success story was initiated by the Labor government under Prime Minister Paul Keating and was consistently continued by that of the conservative national-liberal government. When it comes to privatization, Australia, where everything used to be organized by the state and trade unions, is now further than Germany. The market economy has been unleashed, but the government and central bank are in control. The tax reform brings the Australian high tax system closer to the US model. The unique (only comparable with Singapore) system of private social security through the "superanuation" (7.5 percent compulsory contribution to a pension fund) has led to a savings pool of over 400 billion Australian dollars.

In terms of labor productivity, Australia is likely to have overtaken the USA.

Consumer protection

Australia's consumer advocates have at least as much to do as the consumer advocates in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. If you want to know what the equivalent sources of information on "test" and "K-Tipp" are (for non-Swiss people you have to explain that K-Tipp is one of the highest-circulation publications in Switzerland), you will find it at the ACCC.
ACCC - Australian Consumer and Competition Commission


The anti-corruption organization Transparency International publishes an index according to the perceived corruption (CPI) in the public sector - by civil servants and politicians. The CPI country ranking is made up of various indices for which experts and managers were surveyed. The countries are listed on a scale from zero (high level of perceived corruption) to ten points (no perceived corruption).

Australia ranks 13th in 2018, Switzerland ranks 3rd, Germany 11th and Austria 14th.

Transparency International: Ranking 2015


life quality

Australia is the best place to live before Canada. That is the conclusion of the "Better Life Index" study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The study compares the living situation in the 34 member states of the OECD. Eleven determining factors of life are compared: jobs, security, housing situation, income, environment, education, health and life satisfaction. Traditional values ​​such as stable family relationships and community life are also weighted.

Australia scores particularly well on quality and transparency in administration.

Australia only achieved a place in the midfield in terms of work-life balance, which may surprise some. This is due to the many hours worked by Australians. In 2008, an employee in Australia worked an average of 300 hours a year more than a German.

identification number Measure Australia Germany Austria Switzerland
Household earnings USD / year 27.039 27.665 27.670 27.542
working hours Hours / year 1690 1390 1621 1640
Life expectancy Years 81,5 80 80,5 82,2
satisfaction % 75 56 73 77

OCED: Better Life Index - Australia

Most livable cities

The British business magazine The Economist is also trying to evaluate the quality of life. It is primarily based on per capita income, but also on factors such as security, political stability and equality between men and women, health care, the environment, infrastructure or the educational and cultural offerings, divorce rates and unemployment.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2018, Melbourne is the second most livable city in the world. From 2011 to 2017, ancouver was in first place in the list of 140 cities in the relevant ranking; Vienna is now in the lead.

Melbourne is certainly proud to have left Sydney far behind. Also in the top ten Adelaide and Perth. Australia and its cities are well ahead due to the low population density of the country as a whole and relatively low crime rates.
Economist Intelligence Unit: Liveability Ranking
Key data on Australia at "The Economist"

The management consultancy Mercer publishes an annual overview of the most livable cities worldwide. Places one to five went to Vienna, Zurich, Vancouver, Munich and Auckland in 2019.

Sydney ranks 11th as the most highly rated city in Australia in this overview. In comparison to German-speaking countries, Australia is further behind than in other rankings due to the enormously high house prices. Another reason is the comparatively high cost of living compared to Central Europe.

  • Other cities in the German-speaking area are Düsseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Basel (10), Bern (14), Berlin (16), Hamburg (19), Nuremberg (23) and Stuttgart (27).
  • The ranking of the Australian cities is significantly worse on average: Melbourne (17), Perth (21), Canberra (30), Adelaide (29) and Brisbane (35).

  • Mercer: Most livable cities in the world
    Wikipedia EN: Overview of the rankings of the most livable cities


Because of its importance to the Australian economy, we are devoting a separate page to the economic aspects of tourism.
Tourism as an economic factor

Raw materials industry

The highly productive mining industry in western Australia, with Perth as its metropolis, only needs 0.8 percent of the workforce to achieve its export success. Around 15 percent of the world's iron ore mined and 6.5 percent of global hard coal production came from Australia in 2002. Commodities make up the majority of all Australia's exports. Coal, iron ores and other resources are the main export products.
  • Coal: Australia has huge coal reserves and is a major coal exporter. China has now penetrated the traditional Australian markets: Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The country threatens to overtake Australia as the world's most important coal producer.
  • Significant raw material deposits can also be found in Australia in the form of oil, natural gas, nickel, zircon, iron ore, bauxite, diamonds and uranium.
  • Aluminum, gold, iron ore, titanium and base metals such as copper, lead and zinc benefit from global economic growth and can achieve higher prices. Above all, the important sales countries in Asia are decisive. If projects there are postponed or canceled, this has an impact on Australia's raw material exports.

Images of a strictly unionized industry based on the extraction of raw materials, as they were still valid in the 1980s, are out of date. The raw materials industry has rationalized: old steel furnaces are shut down, unprofitable coal pits are closed - the layoffs that this resulted in were cushioned by severance payments.

The cheap "Aussie dollar" proved to be an additional lifeline for the raw materials industry in this resource-rich country at the end of the 1990s.

"Good governance" becomes particularly clear when comparing Indonesia and Australia: Indonesia, which is rich in natural resources, would actually have had the same prerequisites as Australia, but has squandered its wealth through nepotism and corruption.


It formed the backbone of the Australian economy for centuries, but has increasingly lost its importance in recent decades. Most of the cattle farms are in the interior of the country, while viticulture and agriculture are to the southwest in Victoria. The harvest areas - especially popular with the Working Holiday Makers - are mainly located on the east coast. Extraordinary natural events show that they still have a major impact on the economy.
Information on the basis of Australian agriculture - the vegetation zones (including information on periods of drought).


74 percent of Aussies work in the service sector, most of them in Sydney. Australia's largest city is a financial and service metropolis; Melbourne, metropolitan area number two, traditional location of the manufacturing industry. Sydney also likes to see itself as the financial center of the entire Asian region: many international banks have moved their Asian headquarters to Sydney, and the city is also home to the major Australian financial service providers and industrial groups.


The construction industry is an example of how important Australia has become for German industry. While the Asian crisis overshadowed the order situation in the German construction industry in 1997/98, there is no shortage of work in Australia: no less than 18.7 percent of the order volume of the German construction industry abroad (total value in 2000 approx. 10.7 billion euros ) comes from Australia. The order volume for the German construction companies in Australia in 2000 was a whopping 1.75 billion euros. German investments in Australia in 2000 amounted to around AUD 10 billion. In Australia, the German construction companies have bought into local companies and operate under Australian and British nameplates. One example is Hochtief, who is the market leader in Australia with its subsidiary Leighton.

Classic industries

Progress can be seen not only in the raw materials sector, but also in classic industrial production - manufacturing: productivity in Australia has risen thanks to new technology and better labor input, but not enough. Australia became unattractive as a production location for the auto industry due to the high production costs. On October 20, 2017, the last car produced in Australia rolled off the assembly line at the Holden plant in Port Elizabeth near Adelaide. Toyota and Ford previously ended their production Down Under. In 1990, for example, Ford Australia still had 13,800 employees.

New industries

The entertainment and film industries and tourism make up for job losses in old professions. Australia has become a leader in some trend-setting niche industries such as biotechnology. No country outside of the US has adopted the Internet faster than Australia.

There is a shortage of people in industry, especially in computer and electronics. But here too, as in the USA, there is a way out: Australia mainly lets qualified immigrants into the country.
Immigration information

Between 2001 and 2008, according to the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), bilateral trade between Australia and Germany rose by an average of ten percent annually. In 2009 German-Australian trade totaled around 10.4 billion euros, of which around 8.4 billion euros was accounted for by German exports. Germany mainly imports mineral resources such as ores and coal.

Germany is Australia's tenth most important trading partner worldwide and number 2 in the EU after Great Britain. 18.6 percent of all trade between Australia and the EU in 2009 was between Germany and Australia. German direct investments in Australia amounted to 9.77 billion euros in 2008, while Australian companies had invested 5.65 billion euros in Germany.

Export to Australia

German exports to Australia mainly consist of machinery, equipment for mining and pharmaceutical goods. In particular, there was demand for machines and motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts from Germany. In the ranking of German foreign trade partners, Australia ranks 33rd on the export side and 44th on the import side.

Companies from German-speaking countries in Australia

More than 300 subsidiaries of German companies with around 60,000 jobs are based in Australia. The spectrum of German branches ranges from small medium-sized companies to multinational corporations. The largest companies include Allianz Australia, BMW, Daimler-Chrysler, Münchner Rück, Robert Bosch and Siemens. The Australian Chamber of Commerce (AHK) represents the interests of the German economy in Australia, promotes bilateral business relationships and advises German and Australian companies on market developments.

German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce
An "Australia Germany Business Conference" is held every two years - alternately in Germany and Australia. This conference is organized by the Australian German Association and the German-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Topics are mostly Germany and Australia as investment locations, research and development as well as media and communication. Guests are usually high-ranking representatives from politics and business from both countries.
Western Australia German Business Association (WAGBA) in Perth
Advantage Austria in Australia

Companies don't have to look far for German employees. They are inundated with offers from the parent company and direct applications: the German-Australian Chamber receives more than 600 inquiries each year relating to jobs and internships - and the trend is rising.

Location quality

Australia is one of the most deregulated countries in the world. In its "Doing Business" study, the World Bank analyzes the investment climate in 183 countries. In 2019, Australia ranks 18th for Australia, while New Zealand holds 1st place.
  • Starting a business is comparatively cheap in Australia.
  • In Australia, it takes an average of two days to start a business
  • Enforce a normal contract between business partners in Australia comparatively quickly.
  • The cost of contract enforcement in Australia is less than one percent of the value in dispute
World Bank report "Doing Business Australia"

Australia is ranked 14th in the current "World Competitiveness Ranking" of the World Economic Forum. This ranking is led by the USA, Singapore and Switzerland.

Australia scores above average in the areas of research and education, among other things: the fifth continent ranks first in terms of the proportion of the population attending secondary schools, which in Australia are typically attended by 12 to 18 year olds. Australian research institutions are very competitive. The proportion of the population in the tertiary education sector (universities and technical and further education - TAFE, Technical and Further Education Colleges) is also above average.

Australia's strongest pillar is the development of the financial markets, which is supported by one of the most stable and solid banking systems. The macroeconomic situation is one of the best among the large advanced economies. World Economic Forum: World Competitiveness Ranking 2018


The foreign ministers meet roughly every two years. Visits by the Australian Prime Minister or the German Federal Chancellor or the Australian Governor General and the German Federal President are comparatively rare.

While the economy in Central Europe is not really gaining momentum, Australia beckons with comparatively high growth rates and stable key data. Investors can participate. However, the risks must also be taken into account.


The leading index S&P ASX 200 mainly contains financial stocks (40 percent), commodities stocks (20 percent) and large corporations such as the media company News Corp and the brewery Foster's. As long as the economy is booming in China and India, commodity stocks - such as those of mines that extract iron ore, copper, nickel, aluminum and coal - are particularly in demand. Conversely, a slump in raw material prices also leads to a slump in share prices. For the Australian stocks that are traded on European stock exchanges, you will find a separate overview on AUSTRALIEN-INFO.DE (without claim to be exhaustive).
Australian stocks on European stock exchanges

Index certificates

This option could be considered for interested parties who shy away from concentrating on one or more stocks. There are certificates related to the S&P ASX 200 index that cover approximately 90 percent of the market capitalization of Australian stocks. Advantages: Certificates can be traded at any time during trading hours in mostly very narrow bid / ask spreads. Since the investment is unencumbered by management fees, the certificate is always the image of the index, taking into account the subscription ratio and currency conversion - with all advantages and disadvantages.

Australian Dollar Bonds

The interest rate level is usually significantly higher than in the euro area, which is determined by the European Central Bank. The tempting return, however, bears the exchange rate risk. If you want to be on the safe side, you can also minimize this risk by using appropriate currency warrants.


Prices have risen sharply in recent years. Australia also has a "speculative bubble". Further information on the Australian real estate market can be found at AUSTRALIEN-INFO.DE (without claim to be exhaustive).
Australian real estate market

Trend indicators

Until the beginning of the financial crisis in mid-2008, the economy of the fifth continent benefited mainly from its wealth of natural resources and the favorable location for transport to the main customers: the likewise booming growth regions in Southeast Asia, India and China. Australian iron ore, copper, nickel, aluminum and coal enjoyed great demand.

Tourism as an economic factor
Australian stocks on European stock exchanges
Information on the development of the exchange rate
Information on job opportunities
Information on immigration opportunities

Austrade (e)
Australian trade organization.

German-Australian Chamber of Commerce
Detailed site on the economic relations between Germany and Australia

Goethe Institute, Melbourne
e.g. with the German network in Australia - the "German relations" are made transparent here. There is also a brief outline of the presence of German industry in Australia.
Also cross-references to the Austrian Foreign Trade Office and the Swiss Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


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