The economy of Australia is dominated by its services sector (68% GDP) followed by the agricultural and mining sectors which account for 8% GDP. Owing to its rich natural resources, the agricultural and mining sectors account for 65 percent of Australia's export. Major agricultural industries include cattle, cotton, dairy, fisheries, food, forestry, grain, horticulture, wine, wool, and sugar.
Australia aims to become a key competitor in production and export of not only agricultural and mineral commodities but also of a diverse mix of value added manufactured products, services and technologies. In recent decades the service industries have expanded at the cost of the manufacturing sector.
Knowledge Based Industries:
New technological innovations along with social change have led to higher productivity and faster development of information and knowledge in all industries. Australia having a strong knowledge based economy, the knowledge based industries now contributes to almost half of Australia's GDP. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is one of the major industries which drives Australia's economic growth. Telecommunication and IT market in Australia is the third largest in the Asia Pacific and tenth largest in the world.
Accounting for 5.7 percent of total employment, tourism is one of the most important industries in Australia. The industry contributes $73 billion to consumption annually. For rural Australia, the tourism industry is also a major economic sector. Number of tourists visiting Australia increased by 10% in 2004 compared to the previous year.
Economic Structure and Tax System
The Australian economy offers an attractive investment destination as much for its sound, stable and modern institutional structure as for its business-friendly tax systems.
A strong prudential regulation system together with business-oriented corporate regulation and insolvency regimes form a part of the economic structure of Australia. Major competition sectors include transport, telecommunication, gas and electricity.
Australia has an open economy with minimal barriers to trade and investments.
The goods and services tax (GST), which is Australia's value added tax, is levied at 10% and is applicable to nearly all goods and services. Business taxes comprise company tax rates of 30%. Share transactions have no stamp duty.
In 2003-04, new business grew by 8.3 percent owing to low interest rates and company profits.
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