Australia is a country located in the southern hemisphere. Australia is officially known as Commonwealth of Australia. It consists of six states and two territories. The New South Wales, Queens land, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and Victoria constitutes the states of Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and the Northern Territory forms the two territories of Australia. It was on January 1, 1901 that Australia was united and represented as the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia’s capital is Canberra which is located in the Australian Capital Territory. Australia is an active member of United Nations Organization (UNO), G-20, APEC (Australia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS (Australia,New Zealand United States Security Treaty), World Trade Organization and the Pacific Islands Forum. Australia had signed in an agreement with New Zealand known as the ANZCERTA agreement which helped in enhancing its relation with New Zealand economy.
The Australian economy is a free market economy which is based on the power of division of labor where the prices of goods and services are determined on the basis of supply and demand. Australia faces a low rate of poverty with its high GDP per capita income. The service sector of the Australian economy represents about 68 % of the Australian GDP and it dominates over the other sectors.
In 2009, Australia ranked 13th among all other world nations in terms of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) nominal and was ranked 18th in the world in terms of GDP-PPP (Purchasing Power Parity). The Gross Domestic Product of Australia in 2009 was estimated as $ 997.20 Billion. Due to the global financial crisis, in 2009 the Australian GDP had faced a sharp decline of 5.88 % from that of previous year. Australian economy is trying to recover this situation by the end of 2010.
Australia has a strong economic back ground. But the current economic situation of Australia is not so sound. In last few quarters, the economy faced a sharp decline in the growth rate and this had adversely affected the gross domestic product of Australia. Even during the tough financial situation, the demand for domestic goods and services were high and thus the Central Bank of Australia had asked the Australians to control or bring down their demand.
The Australia has a well developed agricultural sector. The agriculture accounts for about 3.8 % of the Australia’s GDP. About 3.6 % of the work force of Australia is employed in Agricultural sector. The agricultural practices include coastal, inland, aquaculture, tropical horticulture, temperate horticulture, live stock rearing etc. The Australian agricultural products owing to its free trade agreements, high quality, scientifically developed agricultural practices are of great demand in the world market. Important crops grown in Australia are sugar cane, oil seeds, legumes, wheat barley, sorghum, oats, lentils, maize etc. The horticulture of Australia mainly includes the production of oranges, apples, chestnuts, banana, mangoes, pine apple, chest nuts, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes etc. The wine production in Australia is also of very importance. The most common varieties of wine grown in Australia are Shiraz, chardonnay, cabernet etc. The live stock rearing had added a lot towards the country’s economy. In 2009, the export of livestock products earned about AUD $996.5 towards its economy. The livestock reared in Australia include beef, sheep, lamp, cattle, pigs, poultry etc.
Australia has a very well developed manufacturing sector. Australia’s important manufacturing industries include textile industry, motor vehicle industry, chemical industry etc. Australia’s food processing industries are of great economic importance as it forms one of the major export commodities of Australia. In 1960 there was a high peak increase of about 25 % in the GDP of Australia brought about by the export of manufactured products. But this had declined by 13 % in 2002 and by 10.5% in 2005.
Tourism is an important sector in Australian economy. Tourism accounted for about AUD$ 32 billion in 2004 which accounted for about 3.9 % towards the gross domestic product. By the end of April 2010 Australia was visited by about 5.7 million tourists. The most important tourism attractions are national parks, mountains, wine growing regions, fishing etc. The Sidney Olympics of 2000 have attracted millions of visitors to Australia. Similarly, the Rugby World Cup of 2003 too has increased the number of visitors to Australia.
Trade in Australia is of great importance in its economy. In terms of import Australia is ranked in 21st position among world countries. The major countries to which the Australian products are exported include United States, Korea, Japan, India, and China. The commodities exported to this country are iron ore, crude petroleum, coal, gold and natural gas. In terms of export it is ranked as 23rd largest in the world. The commodities imported to Australia includes machinery, computers, transport equipments, refined petroleum etc. The most important import partners of Australia are United States, Singapore, Japan, China etc.
In 2009, Australia ranked 54th most populous country of the world with an estimated population size of 21,875 million. Out of this total population, 5.6 % are unemployed. This rate of unemployment is expected to decrease by the end of 2010.