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European Australian Business : 2008
33 New South Wales has extensive links to international markets, including Europe. In 2006, the State’s exports of goods and services were valued at A$46 billion. In 2005-06, 72 per cent of the State’s merchandise goods were ex- ported to the Asia Pacific. NSW dominates Australia’s services exports, providing 42 per cent of all services exports from Australia. It is the nation’s premier tourist destination, as well as a centre for international learning and business. The State’s capital, Sydney, is Aus- tralia’s finance capital and is growing in importance as a regional financial hub in the Asia Pacific. In 2005-06, total turnover across all of Australia’s financial markets reached A$100 tril- lion - a 22 per cent increase on the previous year. As well as attracting overseas com- panies needing a base for high value operations and technology support functions, the State’s skilled workforce has enabled Sydney to become a hub for companies specialising in struc- tured finance, the business of pooling assets and placing them in externally managed trusts. The Australian Stock Exchange, based in Sydney, is the first major market to open each day and is the eighth largest in the world. Sydney is also the head office location of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Securities Exchange, the International Banks and Securities Association of Australia and the Aus- tralian Financial Markets Association. Foreign investment Europe has for many years been a ma- jor source of foreign direct investment into NSW. Europe and the USA vie for top place as the largest source of foreign direct investment. In 2006-07, Europe was the top source of foreign direct invest- ment. The total stock of foreign investment in Australia topped A$1.5 trillion in June 2007. Over the past five years, the world’s investment in Australia has grown by over 80 per cent, with foreign direct investment expanding by 47 per cent. Many European companies have found NSW is an ideal base to serve world markets using a “follow the sun” strategy. Sydney’s time zone provides an eight- hour work cycle that straddles North America, Asia and Europe. For example, Deutsche Bank and UBS both use Sydney as one of two pro- cessing centres for foreign exchange in the world. Other European companies find NSW, with its stable political system and fa- miliar legal and regulatory system, an ideal location to base an Asia Pacific regional headquarters These include manufacturing com- panies such as Bosch Rexroth, Akzo Nobel, Norske Skog, Wilkahn, Danone, Electrolux, Kone Elevators and Uni- lever. ICT companies with regional headquarters in NSW include BT, Nokia, Amadeus and Sophos. Financial services Finance and insurance is the fastest growing industry in NSW. With 46 per cent of the finance sector workforce of London and 46 per cent of New York’s, Sydney is a major finance centre in the Asia Pacific. Sydney is the Australian head office location for 80 per cent of banks oper- ating in Australia, including eight out of the 10 foreign subsidiary banks in Australia and the 10 largest investment banking groups. Of the top 20 global banks, 18 have a presence in Sydney. Australia’s banking system has the lowest overall risk in the Asia Pacific, according to Standard & Poor’s. Australia has the fourth largest pool of investment fund assets in the world and the largest in Asia. Total funds under management exceed A$1 tril- lion and are expected to triple in the next 10 years. Many European financial services groups have Australian headquarters Trade and investment with New South Wales Sydney – The financial capital of Australia new south wales