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Australia’s trade and investment with APEC grows

September 2013


Australia’s trade and investment with APEC grows

The importance of Australia’s economic relationship with APEC nations has been highlighted in a new report from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The APEC Region – Trade and Investment shows that more than two thirds of Australia’s total trade is with fellow APEC members. APEC nations also account for almost 57 per cent of Australia’s investment abroad and nearly 45 per cent of foreign investment in Australia.

In 2012, Australia’s total trade in goods and services with APEC grew 1.4 per cent to $437.8 billion. Exports fell by 3.0 per cent to $231.6 billion while imports rose 6.8 per cent to $206.4 billion.

Australian investment in APEC member economies rose 7.3 per cent to $736.0 billion, while investment by APEC member economies in Australia rose 9.3 per cent to $970.6 billion.

Australia’s major trading partners in APEC in 2012 were China ($125.1 billion), Japan ($71.1 billion) and the United States ($56.2 billion).

In terms of investment, the United States was both the largest investor in Australia ($617.6 billion or 63.6 per cent of all APEC member economies investment in Australia) and Australia’s largest destination for investment abroad ($434.0 billion or 59.0 per cent of all Australian investment in APEC economies).

As a whole, APEC accounted for 45.1 per of total world exports and 56.0 per cent of world GDP in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms in 2012.

The value of the APEC region’s exports to the world increased by 2.9 per cent to US$10.3 trillion in 2012, while APEC imports from the world increased by 4.5 per cent to US$10.8 trillion.

China was the largest exporter in APEC, with exports to the world valued at just over US$2.2 trillion in 2012 (up 8.0 per cent). It was followed closely by the United States, valued at just under US$2.2 trillion, and Japan with exports of US$944 billion.

Much of APEC members’ trade is with other APEC members. In 2012, 69.1 per cent of APEC members’ merchandise exports and 68.5 per cent of imports were within the region.

The APEC Region – Trade and Investment is part of a series published each year by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Australia’s international trade in goods and services. 

The publication is available on the DFAT website at:


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