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Australia – Important Facts

Australia officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world’s sixth-largest country by total area. Neighbouring countries include Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east.

For about 50,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, who spoke languages grouped into roughly 250 language groups. After the European discovery of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, Australia’s eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788. Since federation, Australia has maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy comprising six states and several territories. The population of 24 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated in the eastern states and on the coast.

Australia’s central bank recently cut interest rates from 1.75% to 1.5%, a direct consequence of the country’s faltering job market and record-low inflation. The Reserve Bank of Australia hopes to boost the labor market as well as induce economic growth via this interest rate cut. After a decade-long mining boom, the Australian economy gradually shifted towards less commodity-dependant growth, helping the nation avoid a recession. Unfortunately, there are many indicators that Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) is losing momentum. Economic growth of 1.1% in the first quarter of 2016 has been largely attributed to the dominance of net exports. Analysts suspect such exports to contribute minutely to overall economic growth. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported the country’s trade deficit rose to $3.2 billion ($2.4 billion) in June, while exports declined 1%, and imports increased 2%.

Important Details

  • Country ISO3:AUS
  • Country Code:36
  • Income Group:East Asia & Pacific
  • Lending Category:High income
  • Region:…
  • Currency Unit:Australian dollar
  • WTO Member:YES
  • Trade organisations:APEC, WTO and OECD
  • world rank:5
  • Regional Ranking:4th in the Asia–Pacific Region