by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
European Australian Business : 2008
20 Europe’s investment in Australia While Australia’s trade with Asia is booming and China has just over- taken the United States to become our second biggest trading partner after Japan, the European Union remains Australia’s largest foreign investor – and by a wide margin. Manufacturing, medicines and mining are the staple diet of our trade. Yet our innovation and research is spurring more investment in a wider range of initiatives than ever before. The strength and diversity of European investment in Australia is due in part to the fact that Australia boasts one of the world’s most robust economies. The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook has ranked Australia the most resilient economy in the world for five of the past six years. We have enjoyed 16 years of uninterrupted growth at rates substantially above the OECD average and this looks set to continue. The OECD predicts that our GDP growth will continue to outpace our rivals in 2007–08. Strong investment is also due to the resurgence of Europe. As the EU economy gathers momentum, Euro- pean companies are discovering that their leading innovations – especially in environmental technologies – have a huge role to play in Australia. For example, Germany’s Siemens is implementing revolutionary clean coal technology at a new plant in south- west Queensland. The Kogan Creek Power Project has the largest single boiler unit in Australia. It also has one of the lowest environmental emissions of any coal-fired power station in the country. European companies are also active in Australia in the automotive, tele- communications, manufacturing and financial sectors through companies such as Daimler Chrysler, BMW, Bosch, Siemens, Electrolux, Ferrero, Mahle and Deutsche Bank While it is true that Asian demand has stimulated a sustained resources boom in Australia, many of the com- mercial benefits are accruing steadily to our investors from Europe. What is particularly exciting for us is find- ing new partners from new parts of Europe. Russia is also experiencing something of a resource-led boom, yet Russian investment in Australia – both direct and portfolio – amounts to only A$5–6 billion, a fraction of the A$400 billion worth of total EU investment stock. I am glad to see this changing. Australia will benefit greatly from new-found Russian interest, just as Russian companies will benefit from our open and competitive economy. In acquiring majority stakes in Australian nickel mines, MMC Norilsk Nickel will also be able to take advantage of Aus- tralian-developed nickel-processing technology, which will doubtlessly improve production techniques in Rus- sia. I predict, however, that the spotlight of European investment will shortly fall on services. Agriculture and mining, for which Australia is best known, comprise only 10 per cent of our economy. In fact, services now account