Overview of Sydney

Economy of Sydney

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Australia is the twelfth world power. Its development and its economic prosperity is based on the export of raw materials and farm produce (especially of gold and wool). Until the1970's its traditional economic policy consisted of exporting and in protecting its branch of industry by tariff barriers. However, the entry of Great Britain to the European Union (with whom Australia was doing 40 % of its business) in 1973 and the period of recession which followed urged the diversification of the economy and the end of its protectionist policy. Since the eighties the Labor governments started the process of liberalization of the economy by deregulation and privatisation. Conservative governments pursued this policy that has brought about sixteen years of continuous expansion between 1990 and 2006. This strategy during these last twenty years made Australia one of the most attractive countries for foreign investment.

The energy sector is particularly important because Australia has immense resources. It is the first world producer of diamonds (50 % of the world reserves), of tin, titanium, lead and the second world producer of gold, nickel and uranium (30 % of the world reserves), but also produces coal (first exporter to the world), oil, iron, natural gas and silver. Because of the increase in demand globally for raw materials the mining sector hasplayed a driving role where growth is concerned these last few years. The Australian economy is,however, sharply dominated by the service sector. The tourism industry and media sector are very dynamic, as well as the financial system (Internet banking services are very developed) and retail sales (development of big shopping centres).

Sydney is the economic and financial capital of the country. More than half of the head offices of the Australian companies and the most important banks are located in Sydney. It is the first port of Australia and tourism also plays an important role in its economy, with 7.8 million national visitors and 2.5 million international visitors in 2004.

Update 29/04/2008

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