Introduction from British Consul General and Deputy Trade Commissioner Asia Pacific (Australia and New Zealand), UK’s Department for International Trade, Michael Ward

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I am pleased to introduce you to this guide for doing business with Australia. International trade will play a pivotal role as we look to our economic recovery post COVID-19 and building back better.

Australia has had one of the best-performing advanced economies in recent decades. Prior to COVID-19, it avoided recession for 28 years. Australia’s long-term economic success reflects many factors, including sound fiscal management, strong population growth, an abundance of natural resources, and close ties to fast-growing Asian markets. Amid the relaxation of restrictions, these will hold it in good stead for the economic recovery. 

There are excellent export opportunities for British companies over a range of sectors. These include financial and professional services, infrastructure, automotive, consumer and retail, defence, the digital economy, food and drink, pharma, and life sciences. UK businesses traded £18.1 billion worth of goods and services with Australia in 2019. The growth in opportunities in the digital tech space in recent years reflects the increasingly modern partnership that exists between the UK and Australia.

In June this year, the United Kingdom launched free trade negotiations with Australia. A UK-Australia free trade agreement (FTA) will enable the UK, as a newly independent trading nation, to establish stronger trading links and form an even deeper partnership with one of our core allies.

Together, the UK and Australia will continue to promote a liberal free trade agenda at a time of global uncertainty. FTAs are a key contributor to economic recovery. They help keep trade routes open and lower the cost of doing business by removing tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods, helping to diversify supply chains and supporting broader economic resilience. Negotiations between the UK and Australia have highlighted the significant alignment between our countries and in some areas, such as digital trade, a willingness to be more ambitious than existing precedents elsewhere.

I hope this guide provides you with useful insights into the opportunities and advantages of Australia as an export market for your business. The UK’s Department for International Trade is here to help UK exporters identify these opportunities and develop new business through our extensive network of specialists in the UK and our team of trade advisers in Australia. You can find our details at:


Michael Ward
British Consul General and Deputy Trade Commissioner Asia Pacific (Australia and New Zealand), UK’s Department for International Trade


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