Opportunities for businesses in Australia

The government's international network flags international opportunities and trends for businesses, in partnership with local parties and governments.

Opportunities and developments

Staff at our missions closely monitor economic, innovative and social developments. They identify opportunities, trends and local demand, for example for specific products or techniques. And they also monitor opportunities for and developments in innovation, international corporate social responsibility and procurement. This includes contracting by international organisations (website in Dutch).

For more information on international opportunities, see the International Business portal and the 'NL exporteert' app (both in Dutch).

Market and sector reports

Missions also compile market and sector reports (website in Dutch). You can also find reports by private parties, such as banks. This way, you can keep up with key business developments in the local market.

New business opportunities in this country or region

The mission network has recently published the following reports:

  • Trade opportunitites Northern Australia
  • Trade opportunities Infrastructure Australia
  • Trade opportunities Australian Ports
  • Trade opportunities Greenhouses

You can find the most current reports on www.internationaalondernemen.nl or the app NL Exporteert.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs in this country or area

The Australian economy has had a period of continuous growth and an AAA status for the past 25 years. However, the explosive growth of the mining sector is declining considering that the construction phase of many large projects has been completed. Also, the export of raw materials has proven to be difficult worldwide, particularly in China. This makes reform and diversification of the economy one of the most important domestic policy challenges and spearheads for the Australian government.

After Germany, the Netherlands is the largest export market for Australia within the euro zone. Furthermore, the Netherlands is the second largest investor from the euro zone in Australia. In addition, several large successful Dutch companies are established and active in the Australian market such as Shell, Unilever, Randstad, Rabobank, Achmea, Philips and ING.

Australia also offers opportunities for Dutch exporters. Dutch exports to Australia have grown strongly in the past 10 years, from 900 million euros to 4.79 billion euros. Dutch companies export machines, machine parts, medical equipment and electronics and chemical products to Australia.

The Australian market offers both opportunities and challenges for foreign companies. Despite the relatively small population, Australia imports AUD 349.1 billion worth of goods and services (2016-2017). In 2017, the Netherlands exported 4.79 billion euros to Australia,

Since the 1970s, various reforms have been implemented to limit trade barriers. Examples include the abolition of many restrictive tariffs, deregulation of the financial market and the abandonment of the fixed exchange rate. The Australian economy is primarily a free market economy, but one that is rather oriented to one-side.

In addition to Free Trade Agreements with South Korea and Japan, Australia also signed a free trade agreement with China in December 2015, namely the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (CHAFTA). Despite the strong connection with Asia, the Netherlands remains important for Australia as one of the largest investors. Currently, there are ongoing negotiations about a Free Trade Agreement with Europe.

Ongoing big projects in Australia

Western Sydney Precinct Development
The Australian and NSW Governments, together with eight local governments of Western Sydney, signed the Western Sydney City Deal on 4 March 2018. The City Deal is a 20 year agreement between the three levels of government to deliver a once-in-a-generation transformation of Sydney’s outer west – creating the ‘Western Parkland City’. The City Deal builds on the Australian Government’s $5.3 billion investment in the Western Sydney Airport to catalyse investment, development and job opportunities. It also includes measures to maintain and enhance Western Sydney’s unique character by improving community infrastructure and liveability.

Western Sydney Airport
Western Sydney Airport will provide much-needed additional aviation capacity to meet growing demand in the Sydney basin and improve access to flights for people in Western Sydney. One of Australia's most significant infrastructure projects in decades, the international and domestic airport will open in 2026, bringing social and economic prosperity to the Western Sydney region.
Thousands of jobs and opportunities for local businesses will be created. The airport is expected to support almost 28,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2031, five years after the airport opens.

Inland Rail
Inland Rail is a once-in-a-generation project connecting regional Australia to global markets, transforming the way freight is moved around the country. It will complete the ‘spine’ of the national freight network between Melbourne and Brisbane via regional Victoria, News South Wales and Queensland. This new 1,700km line is the largest freight rail infrastructure project in Australia. Early construction works will begin in 2017, and based on the 10-year delivery schedule developed in 2015, the first train is expected to operate in 2024/25. The Australian Government, through ARTC, is delivering the multi-billion dollar infrastructure in partnership with the private sector. The dedicated freight network will transform the way we move goods between Melbourne and Brisbane, and between the east coast, Adelaide and Perth. It will support Australia’s four richest farming regions; provide supply chain benefits and substantial cost savings for producers.

Shifting focus to renewable energy
Renewable energy accounted for about 15 per cent of Australia’s total electricity generation in 2014–15, and is forecast to increase to 20 per cent by 2049–50. Wind, solar and bioenergy sources are also expected to grow solidly, leveraging Australia’s natural advantages. Electricity generation from wind power is expected to double. It will account for over 10 per cent of Australia’s total electricity generation by 2049–50.

Smart Cities Plan

The Smart Cities Plan will position Australian cities to succeed in the 21st century economy. It is a plan for supporting productive, accessible, liveable cities that attract talent, encourage innovation and create jobs and growth. It represents a new framework for cities policy at the federal level – and it is a framework that will guide action across various portfolios, to deliver better outcomes for our cities, the people who live in them and all Australians. The Smart Cities Plan sets out the Australian Government’s vision for our cities—metropolitan and regional—and its commitment to smart investment, smart policy and smart technology.

To enhance the smart cities plan, the Australian government set up the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program. The $50 million Smart Cities and Suburbs Program is supporting the delivery of innovative smart city projects that improve the livability, productivity and sustainability of cities and towns across Australia. Until now, there have been two application rounds in which cities could get funding for their smart city projects. For example, the City of Sydney received funding for their proposed smart mobility project. This project will collect data on the movement of people within the City of Sydney. This data will be publically available and allow for evidence-based decisions for future investment in infrastructure planning, waste collection, city maintenance, late night activity areas and event planning. For these projects, councils outsource the work to various partners, hence creating new opportunities for Dutch businesses in Australia.