Australia has proven to be an appealing and profitable market for U.S. companies for many years. Australia is an open market with minimal restrictions on imports of goods and services. It offers very few barriers to entry, a familiar legal and corporate framework, and a sophisticated yet straightforward business culture. While it is important to understand and appreciate Australia’s cultural differences, the long and successful history of U.S. firms in Australia suggests that other U.S. companies will also find this market to be rewarding and attractive. Although modest in size, New Zealand shares similar economic and cultural characteristics to those of the U.S. Going from one of the most regulated economies in the OECD 25 years ago to one of the least regulated now, New Zealand has proven to be one of the most resilient OECD economies, providing a growing and stable platform for both new and experienced Wisconsin exporters.

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Australia is well integrated into world markets in spite of its relatively isolated geographical position. It is strategically located close to Asian markets that are driving fast-growing global food demand, the industry is being challenged to innovate across all aspects of production and the supply chain. Australia’s strong mining and agricultural sectors require industrial machinery—an area of expertise in Wisconsin. In recent decades, Australian manufacturing of high-tech goods, electronics, industrial tools, equipment and machinery has declined to levels where it is necessary to seek out overseas suppliers to meet local market demand. High labor and energy costs, as well as geographical challenges, are leading Australian companies to look abroad for new products and solutions in areas such as robotics, automation, remote monitoring and predictive maintenance.

As the world’s 13th-largest economy, Australia’s competitive, open, vibrant and flexible market experienced 29 years of consecutive growth leading up to 2020. After contracting by 2.4% in 2020, the Australian’s strong economic recovery is predicted by the International Monetary Fund, with 4.5% GDP growth predicted for 2021. Australia’s resources are in demand, particularly from fast-growing Asian economies, which are in need of mining and other related industrial equipment and technology services. Major capital-type goods like heavy earth moving equipment are typically imported and/or locally assembled by subsidiaries of foreign companies. 99% of tariffs have been eliminated on U.S. manufactured goods entering Australia since the introduction of the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement in 2005. International business has continued to take place throughout the pandemic, and new distribution agreements are being signed even in a virtual environment. The pandemic-induced push to digitize has also accelerated the use of cloud-based solutions across key industries such as health and education.

Australia is the seventh-largest export market globally for Wisconsin, and the third-largest in the Asia/Pacific region. Rich in natural resources, Australia has strong mining and agricultural sectors, creating demand for industrial machinery. Australia is in a period of increased infrastructure spending, in particular on railways, airports, roads and waste management facilities, leading to demand for capital equipment. Australia already imports around 70% of its mining equipment, as well as about 95% of its agricultural equipment and machinery (including tractors). Major capital-type goods, including heavy earth moving equipment, are also typically imported and/or locally assembled by subsidiaries of foreign companies. Additionally, the Australian market for medical equipment and supplies provides good opportunities. The majority of medical technology products used in Australia are imported, with the U.S. being the number-one import source. Wisconsin is already a leader in medical equipment exports, making this a lucrative opportunity for business growth.


image with charts and numbers related to Australia's exports to Wisconsin in 2018










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