Sector-specific opportunities

Opportunities in Australia

There are numerous opportunities for UK companies wishing to do businesses with Australia, such as in the education, energy, healthcare, creative industries, ICT, professional and financial services and transport and infrastructure sectors. 



Before exporting to Australia, you should carry out extensive planning and market research. Ideally, you should use both desk research and market visits, as you will need to determine whether there is a market for your product or service, and if your pricing is competitive.

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) trade specialists to find local representatives for your products via:

From its worldwide network, DIT can provide international export sales leads. Find export opportunities in Australia at:

For more information about opportunities and advice on doing business with Australia, contact DIT at:

Do not forget to check that your goods meet legal requirements for export at the UK Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) (formerly known as the Export Control Organisation) at:  

[Source – DIT: Exporting to Australia,, UKEF]


Government tenders

For information regarding government tenders in Australia, see the Australian Government's procurement information system website:

In order to successfully sell to the Australian Government you will need to set up a business in Australia or have a local business partner.

Partnering with an Australian firm may improve your chance of success if applying for a government tender. Check with the DIT team in Australia at: for assistance and information about government tenders and use of third-party advisers.

[Source – DIT: Exporting to Australia, Australian Government]


Creative industries sector

Australia’s creative industry is broad and wide ranging. It includes publishing, performing arts, visual arts, screen production, screen services and music. The industry contributes A$30 billion to Australia’s economy each year. The sector plays a large role in the country’s 22 years of uninterrupted economic growth. 

The creative industries sector is also vital in attracting tourists to the country as over 51% of all international visitors to Australia visit a place of culture, contributing A$26.9 billion to the Australian economy.

Australia is involved in worldwide development, education and facilities management of the arts. 

With digital creative arts such as gaming and screen production growing, Australia has placed significant importance on these sub-sectors. There has, as a result, been a recent regrowth in Australia’s gaming industry and approximately 60% of Australia’s share in the over US $80 billion games marketplace is earned from mobile and web games. 

The Australian population is also largely tech-savvy, with nearly 70% playing video games for entertainment purposes. By the end of 2020, the games market is expected to reach US $100 million in annual sales globally, to which Australia will contribute significantly. 

With global streaming platforms changing the way films and television are watched, there are plenty of opportunities opening up in screen production. The industry has strong support at all levels in Australia, including government, at state and national levels. This therefore makes it a good area for UK businesses to get involved in. 

The country’s varied geography also provides excellent scenery and sets and filming costs are lower than in the US for those wishing to invest in the screen production sub-sector. 

The development and building of cultural buildings and precincts, such as theatres, is an area in which UK companies can partner with Australian firms and find numerous opportunities. 

The country has a national partnership called Sounds Australia which helps support the contemporary music sector, including the promotion of Australian musicians globally, as well as providing export training, resources and tailored information. 

Opportunities for UK companies can therefore be found in the following areas: 

  • content creation

  • screen production

  • publishing

  • web and game development

  • education and research

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Australia for more information on the creative industries sector:

[Source – Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)]


Education sector

Australia has a high standard and high uptake of education, with the world’s third-highest secondary education enrolment rate, and more than 40% of the population holding a tertiary qualification. The country is also home to world-class research and development institutions. 

The Australian Government has pledged their commitment to ensure that every child is assisted through education to reach their full potential. The Universal Access to Early Childhood Education pledge ensures that high quality preschool education is available to all children for a year before they begin full-time education. The government is also heavily investing in schools, providing a record amount of funding, paying particular attention to schools and students that need additional resources.

In Australia the education sector is evolving as a result of the introduction of education technology. There is now a growing importance on skills as opposed to knowledge, as well as a desire to acquire these skills quickly in order to meet employer demands. As a result, the provision of online learning has increased in order to help students have more control over their own learning and curriculum. Further, this also helps adult learners and those with existing careers who would not necessarily benefit from classroom teaching. 

By 2022, it is expected that the edtech industry in Australia will grow to A$1.7 billion due to the increasing demand for education services and technology innovation. Australia is the third most popular destination for students in the world and international education is the country’s third-largest export, worth A$28 billion in 2016/17.

More than 1,000 online education providers currently exist in Australia and there are increasing opportunities for UK businesses wishing to join them. 

Opportunities for UK companies include:

  • coaching, mentoring, corporate and executive training 

  • e-learning and digital solutions

  • the development of digital content 

  • developing edtech and other alternatives to classroom-based learning

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Australia for more information on the education sector:

[Source – Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment]


Energy sector

Australia’s energy consumption continues to rise, with an increase of 0.9% in the 2017-2018 period. As a result of this, Australia is investing in the energy sector, and putting an increasing amount of focus on newer energy types and technologies. 

The way energy is supplied and consumed in Australia is continually changing, but the growing economy and population ensures that there is an increasing demand for all types of energy.

Renewable energy

 As demand for alternative energy increases, so do the opportunities for UK companies who are able to provide this.

Australia’s renewable energy sector is expecting a large amount of growth in the near future. In 2015, the Asia-Pacific region invested US $179 million into renewable energy, which was seven times more than a decade earlier. 

Australia has plans to harvest its many natural resources, such as wind resources, wave power and high solar insolation, in order to turn towards more sustainable forms of energy production. 

The Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) aims to reduce greenhouse gases and supplement energy supplies with alternative, sustainable forms. The RET is expected to help Australia reach 50% renewable energy by 2030.

In addition, the government also established the Solar Towns Programme to show their commitment to reducing greenhouse gases. The programme ran until 2016, and saw the government invest A$2.1 million into funding solar energy at a local level. 

The Solar Communities Programme, which began in 2017, aims to continue this investment into solar power. The government will provide A$5 million in funding to allow community groups to install solar panels in order to reduce their emissions. 

Due to the geography of the country, it is well-suited to generate wind power. There are strong coastal breezes around the country, and wide open spaces mean that wind can travel far. In some parts of Australia, wind energy penetration provides nearly 30% of required energy. Australia intends to grow its wind energy sub-sector by investing in designing, modelling and monitoring wind farms, as well as ensuring grid reliability. There are, therefore, many opportunities for UK companies who can provide assistance in wind farm development and help to meet the country’s Renewable Energy Target. 

There are also investments in hydro-electric energy with over 120 hydro-electric power stations in the country generating 20 Gwh per year.

Oil and gas

Australia has about 0.3% of the world’s oil reserves, although large areas remain underexplored, thus there are opportunities for UK companies to help explore, test and discover oil and gas resources. It is thought that Australia may possess large amounts of shale gas and tight gas as these areas have only recently started to be explored. Opportunities also exist in creating alternative transport fuels such as biofuels, coal-to-liquids, gas-to-liquids (GTL) and products derived from the mining and processing of oil shales.

Despite a focus on cleaner, alternative energy, non-renewable sources still play a hugely important role in Australia's energy sector. Over the period 2017-2018, oil was Australia’s main form of energy, providing 39%. The consumption of oil in Australia is expected to continue to grow. It is also predicted that gas is expected to grow in its share of the Australian energy market over the next few decades. 

Opportunities for UK businesses in the energy sector include:

  • planning

  • operation and maintenance of energy facilities

  • regulation

  • research and technology

  • climate change research

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Australia for more information on the energy sector:

[Source – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)]


Healthcare sector

Australia is known to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world, with healthcare being both affordable and of a high quality. The country’s life expectancy is also particularly high, with a large percentage of people living to an average of 83 years old.

Australia has both private and public healthcare. In regards to private healthcare, it is advised that you take out health insurance. Public healthcare is covered by the universal healthcare scheme, Medicare, which was introduced by the Australian Government in 1984. This scheme covers medical services, medicines and public hospitals. Most of the opportunities for the UK are for individuals, such as nurses, especially for the elderly, GPs and specialist doctors.

There are a number of concerns and challenges that Australia is facing and will face in the future, such as the rise in cases of chronic diseases. These challenges mean that there is higher chance of further opportunities for UK companies or individuals. Due to the high quality of Australia’s healthcare system, the population is living longer, causing the ageing population to increase. This is predicted to put a significant strain on the country’s medical services, therefore opportunities are arising in this area for nurses who can help to provide services for these ageing individuals.

Other opportunities fall within the technology sector, as new technologies are needed to improve the healthcare system. The Australian Government has established the Medical Research Future Fund in order to invest in the research of new technologies such as for digital health technologies and automated diagnostic services.

Australia has several investment opportunities for UK companies including in:

  • biotech

  • pharmaceuticals

  • medical devices

  • tropical medicines

Investors will find that Australia is open to collaboration, and due to its world-class research facilities and infrastructure, there is a high commercial success rate for medical products and services. Australia and the UK are similar in many ways, therefore it is an ideal new market for testing new medical technologies, products and services.

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Australia for more information on the healthcare sector:

[Source – Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)]


Information and communications technology (ICT) sector

Globally, Australia is seen as a strategic location for setting up or expanding a business in the ICT sector, particularly due to how close the country is to the Asia region. 

As Australia’s population grows so does its consumer base that are demanding new and improved technologies, both for business and domestic purposes. Therefore, there is an increase in the need for foreign companies to invest their time and money into creating these new innovative ideas.

Australia’s workforce is known to be highly skilled and has a significant level of knowledge in regards to technology. The country’s workforce, along with its research infrastructure and strong IP laws, provide UK companies with a base in which to establish a business presence within Australia.

Opportunities for UK companies can be found in the following areas:

  • product development (R&D) facilities

  • content development, such as games development and mobile development

  • technical assistance centres

  • global sourcing, for global risk reduction

The majority of sectors throughout Australia rely on improvements in technology in order to increase their success rates. Sectors that benefit and where opportunities lie, include:

  • financial services (fintech)

  • agribusiness

  • food (agtech)

  • resources and energy

  • digital health

  • transport and logistics

  • government services

  • education

  • tourism

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Australia for more information on the information and communications technology (ICT) sector:

[Source – Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)]


Professional and financial services sector

The professional services sector is vital to the Australian economy. It includes multiple sub-sectors, such as legal and accounting services, architecture, and business services. 

The country’s financial services are also of high quality, with a highly skilled and multilingual workforce and strong business infrastructure, Australia is strategically positioned as a financial centre for the Asia-Pacific region. 

The Australian Government is looking to grow its professional and financial services sector in order to take advantage of emerging global opportunities. It is hoped that Australia can become a centre for excellence for fund management in particular as this sub-sector rapidly expands globally and particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Any UK companies who can assist in simplifying Australia’s professional and financial services sector will find a multitude of opportunities. Opportunities also exist in:

  • IT 

  • private equity/venture capital e-commerce 

  • strategic planning 

  • finance and leasing that is asset-based

  • investment banking 

  • retail banking 

  • hedge funds 

  • insurance 

  • private banking 

  • benchmarking/best practice areas 

  • human resources 

  • payment systems

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Australia for more information on the professional and financial services sector:

[Source –Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)]


Tourism sector

Due to the proximity to Asia, the country has seen a growth in its tourism sector, creating an increase in jobs and money for the country. The country has been recorded to be the seventh-largest tourism market worldwide and its tourism sector is three times the rate of the world average.

The top three areas in which foreign investors can enter into the tourism sector in Australia are through arts and recreation, aviation and accommodation. These three areas alone were worth $45.3 billion in 2018 to 2019.

Tourism is one of the biggest sectors within the country, and as it continues to grow, Australia is looking towards foreign investors, such as from the UK, to help it to keep up with the growing demand. Therefore, opportunities are found in:

  • infrastructure

  • airports

  • attractions, including for sports

  • hotels

  • business services

  • wildlife and areas of natural beauty

  • retail services

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Australia for more information on the tourism sector:

[Source – Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), Tourism Research Australia]


Transport and infrastructure sector

Due to the increase in the population and the continuing success of the economy, the Australian Government has made the improvement and expansion of the infrastructure sector a priority, with around A$50 billion being invested from the government alone. Therefore, improvements are being made on both the rail and road networks. 

Foreign companies, including those from the UK, are being encouraged by the Australian Government to invest, construct, own and operate infrastructure within the country, including its transport system, utilities and social infrastructure.

Due to the country being a mass exporter and producer of bulk commodities, especially to the Asia region, there is a growing need for investors and foreign countries to help Australia to increase its productivity. By 2030, road freight is expected to increase by 50% and rail freight is to grow by 67% to accommodate this increase.

The Australia New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline (ANZIP) was established in order to create a detailed image that shows potential investors upcoming construction opportunities on brownfield and greenfield sites. 

There are a number of other infrastructure and transport projects currently taking place that offer opportunities for UK companies who are planning to do business with Australia, including, but not limited to:

  • Bruce Highway in Queensland

  • Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan in New South Wales

  • Western Highway in Victoria

Contact the Department for International Trade (DIT) team in Australia for more information on the transport and infrastructure sector:

[Source – Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)]


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