Economic Relations


tradeAustralia is a key and stable supplier of important commodities and goods for Japan.

In fact, Japan is Australia’s 2nd largest export market, accounting for 18.7% or 50.46 billion dollars in 2011(Source: DFAT Composition of Trade 2011). Australia supplied 63.3% of the beef in Japan for that year, along with 38.9% natural cheese, 58.6% iron ores, and 61.3% coal. In addition, Australia is Japan largest supplier of energy, with a total import of petroleum, LNG and coal of 22% (Source: Trade Statistics of MOF 2011).

Australia’s trade surplus with Japan is the larger than any other country in 2011, and was valued at over 324 million dollars (Source: DFAT Composition of Trade Australia 2011).

Aside from trade, investment and tourism also draw a lot of interest. Japan invested over 52 billion dollars in Australia in 2011 (Source: ABS 2011). This makes Japan the 3rd largest investor, after the U.S. and the U.K. Japan is also the 5th largest visitor to Australia, with over 353,000 visits in 2012 (Source: ABS Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia 2012), equating to 6% of all visitor arrivals in that year. Australia is an important emigration destination, and hosts the 3rd largest number of Japanese residents (Source: MOFA 2011).

Trade, investment and tourism drive culture and language learning. Australia ranks 4th in the number of people learning Japanese, which equates to 1 in 75 people being Japanese language learners (Japan Foundation, 2012).  

Economic Relations Paper (PDF)