Australia: What you need to know

    Business Spotlight 6/2017
    Hafen von Sydney
    © Simon Woolley/
    Von Paul Wheatley

    Australia traditionally has a very strong bond with the UK. But especially after the Brexit vote, Germany is an increasingly interesting business partner for companies down under. Here are some interesting facts if you do business with Australians. To learn even more, have a look at the feature on Australia in Business Spotlight 6/17.


    Fast facts: Australia


    Capital: Canberra (397,000)
    Other main cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide
    Official name: Commonwealth of Australia
    Government: Parliamentary democracy
    Government website:
    Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II
    Head of government: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
    Population: 24.7 million (2017 est. (estimate)Schätzungest.). Around 2.8% are Aborigines and/or Torres StraitStraße von TorresTorres Strait Islanders
    Language: Australia has no official language. The main language is English, although more than 100 indigenousindigen; hier auch: von der Urbevölkerung gesprochenindigenous Australian languages are also spoken.
    currencyWährungCurrency: Australian dollar (A$; €1 = about A$1.5)
    GDP (gross domestic product)BIP (Brutto- inlandsprodukt)GDP: $1.259 trillionBillion(en)trillion (2016)
    GDP annualjährlichannual growth: 2.4% (2016)
    Unemployment: 5.7% (2016)
    Inflation: 1.5% (2016)
    Main trading partners: China, Japan, US, South Korea


    Sources: Australian Government — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Australian Bureau of Statistics; Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies; CIA’s World Factbook


    Good to know: “Australians will happily start a conversation”

     Elizabeth Opie

    Elisabeth Opie was born in Melbourne. She is an international technology lawyerAnwalt/Anwältinlawyer and a member of the boardLeitungsgremium, Vorstandboard of the German Australian Business Council, a volunteerehrenamtlichvolunteer organization that promotes individual and business relationships between the two countries. Opie also to lectureVorlesungen haltenlectures at Berlin’s Humboldt University on international negotiationVerhandlung(en)negotiation, mediation and arbitrationSchlichtungarbitration. In an interview with Business Spotlight, she gave a few tips on communicating with Australians:

    • “The German language can seem quite formal. In Australia, we use plain English, and automatically, it seems a lot more relaxed.”
    • “When you first meet somebody, you might say ‘Mr’. But an Aussie (ifml.)Australier(in)Aussie will almost certainly immediately say, ‘Call me Mike.’”
    • “Australians, in general, are open and will generally happily start a conversation. Obviously, from a business perspective, you need to be targetedzielgerichtettargeted in terms ofim Hinblick aufin terms of what you’re saying. But there is an openness to listen and to sound sth. outetw. ausloten, sondierensound out ideas.”
    • “Wherever you have a business meeting in Australia, it is likely that you’re going to be near water. And after a business meeting, it’s not unusual to sit at a waterfront and maybe have a beer.”

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