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European Australian Business : 2008
44 queensland Central Station, Fraser Island Queensland is big. Big in size, big in performance, big in potential. A country the size of Germany could be squeezed five times into Queensland. Queensland is Australia’s economic powerhouse with our economic growth outstripping the nation for twelve consecutive years. The Queensland economy grew in the last financial year at a rate of 5 per cent while Australia grew 3.15 per cent. Our forecast economic growth rate exceeds those predicted for Japan, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom and we’re also expected to outperform 25 of the 30 member countries of the OECD. One third of all population growth in Australia in the past five years has happened in Queensland. We welcome 18,000 new Queenslanders each and every week. Some of them we breed ourselves but most of them come from other states of Australia or from overseas. We are first for employment growth in the country at 3.3 per cent with our nearest rival in Western Australia coming in at 2.5 per cent. We are the first in creating full time jobs - 30 per cent of all jobs created nationally in the last five years were created in Queensland. We lead Australia in public infrastruc- ture spending with the largest building program in the country at $14 billion in 2007-08. Compare that with the more populous states of New South Wales spending $12 billion and Victoria just $5 billion. Queensland is also big on forging investment partnerships and joint ventures with companies in Europe. Traditionally, Queensland has very strong economic ties with Europe. Members of the European Union rank among our oldest trading partners. From the earliest days of European settlement, immigrants from Europe help to lay the foundations of the multicultural, smart society that is Queensland today. In 2005-06, Queensland imported goods worth $3.95 billion from the members of the European Union, making the EU Queensland’s largest source of merchandise imports.