5494.0 - Economic Activity of Foreign Owned Businesses in Australia, 2014-15  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/08/2018   
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The ABS would like to thank the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) who have provided funding and support for this publication.


SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

In 2014-15, the 9,946 foreign owned businesses operating in Australia accounted for 0.5% of all businesses of all Australian businesses, but contributed 20.8% of all industry value added (IVA).

The majority of foreign and Australian owned businesses operated with fewer than 20 employees in 2014-15. This business size category accounted for 65% of all foreign owned and 97% of Australian owned businesses.

TABLE 1: FOREIGN AND AUSTRALIAN OWNED BUSINESS BY LEVEL OF FOREIGN OWNERSHIP

Australian owned

Foreign owned

Activity TypeUnit
Foreign ownership less than 10%
Foreign ownership 10% to less than or equal to 50%
Foreign ownership greater than 50% (a)
Total

NUMBER AND VALUE OF FOREIGN AND AUSTRALIAN OWNED BUSINESSES IN AUSTRALIA

Operating businessNo.
2,054,237
1,208
9,946
2,065,391
of which business size (by no. of employees)
0-19No.
1,996,904
896
6,471
2,004,271
20-199No.
53,949
175
2,596
56,720
200 & moreNo.
3,384
137
879
4,400
Employment000
9,879.0
204.6
966.2
11,049.9
Sales of goods and services (b)$m
2,234,062.0
174,086.3
770,395.1
3,178,543.4
Total operating expenses$m
1,098,613.8
111,531.0
314,127.0
1,524,271.9
Operating profit before tax$m
334,972.4
14,783.2
49,530.4
399,286.0
Taxable profit$m
237,721.3
8,643.1
31,358.1
277,722.6
Profit after tax (c)$m
264,844.6
12,233.4
40,279.8
317,357.9
Compensation of employees$m
484,235.3
14,402.6
67,315.1
565,952.9
Contractors & Commissions$m
75,254.2
11,637.4
21,971.4
108,863.0
Total assets (d)$m
8,076,446.8
726,965.3
1,927,736.9
10,731,149.0
Total liabilities (d)$m
6,976,493.7
622,343.8
1,585,741.5
9,184,579.0
Capital expenditure$m
280,624.5
23,652.8
43,141.2
347,418.5
Industry value added (e)$m
782,041.1
64,095.1
221,915.7
1,068,051.8

(a) Includes foreign owned businesses with an unknown country of origin
(b) Sales of goods and services does not include income indirectly derived such as government payments or interest income
(c) Profit after tax is calculated by subtracting a business' tax liability from its Operating profit before tax
(d) Where assets and liabilities are held in trusts, the trusts are allocated to the Financial and insurance services industry - see paragraph 14 of the Explanatory notes
(e) Includes all industries except the Financial and insurance services industry


United States residents held the largest number of foreign owned businesses (2,039) in Australia during 2014-15. The contribution of these businesses to the total IVA by foreign owned businesses was $71,613.9m or 32.3%. The next largest contributors in terms of IVA by country of origin were United Kingdom (13.3%) and Japan (9.9%).

TABLE 2: TOP TEN COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN BY ACTIVITY TYPE, 2014-15

Operating businesses (a)
Employment
Sales of goods and services (b)
Total operating expenses
Operating profit before tax
Compensation of employees
Contractors & Commissions
Industry value added (c)
Country of Origin
No.
000
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m

FOREIGN OWNERSHIP LESS THAN OR EQUAL TO 50%

Australia
2,055,445
10,083.7
2,408,148.3
1,210,144.9
349,755.6
498,637.9
86,891.6
846,136.2

FOREIGN OWNERSHIP GREATER THAN 50%

United States
2,039
272.7
210,359.2
85,140.8
13,279.7
19,433.9
5,589.0
71,613.9
United Kingdom
842
141.4
96,987.5
44,979.2
6,421.2
10,475.4
2,477.3
29,538.0
Japan
538
73.9
82,615.3
26,163.5
4,425.7
6,374.7
1,744.5
21,960.6
New Zealand
420
38.4
26,024.5
8,210.9
1,162.3
2,051.7
675.0
4,866.2
Germany
341
43.5
49,695.5
20,517.3
2,753.4
3,294.3
1,713.8
9,731.4
Singapore
287
26.4
12,253.1
4,100.6
822.0
2,033.6
108.2
5,666.1
Canada
263
27.5
20,451.1
12,322.7
1,954.4
2,059.3
670.9
7,246.2
France
257
36.7
25,103.3
13,912.8
1,817.6
2,859.3
717.3
8,233.7
Hong Kong
220
16.0
31,664.4
11,384.7
1,124.0
1,499.4
896.9
6,387.2
China
204
13.1
15,829.9
9,591.1
1,322.3
983.7
445.8
4,753.3

(a) Includes foreign owned businesses with an unknown country of origin
(b) Sales of goods and services does not include income indirectly derived such as government payments or interest income
(c) Includes all industries except the Financial and insurance services industry


Of all industries, Wholesale Trade had the greatest number of foreign owned businesses with 1,909 (or 2.5% of all businesses in the industry), followed by Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (1,604 or 0.6%), Financial and Insurance Services (1,138 or 0.6%) and Manufacturing (1,010 or 1.2%).

The industry with the largest proportion of foreign owned businesses was the Mining industry with 474 businesses, accounting for 5.9% of all businesses in the industry.

Over the five years from 2010-11 to 2014-15 (see Table 7 – Data cubes) foreign owned businesses saw an increase in their share of total IVA from 18.4% in 2010-11 to 20.8% in 2014-15. Over the same period, foreign owned businesses increased their share of the total number of businesses in Australia from 0.4% to 0.5%.