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Population Composition: Expanding links with Asia
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS ASIA?
OVERSEAS BORN BY COUNTRY OF BIRTH
In 1995 there were 866,000 Asian born Australians. They accounted for 21% of the overseas born population, and 5% of the total population. In 1985 Asian born Australians represented 12% of the overseas born population and 2% of the total population.
In 1995, the largest single Asian country of birth group, with 4% of the overseas born, was Viet Nam. In addition, just over 2% of overseas born Australians were from each of China, Philippines, Malaysia, and Hong Kong and Macau.
The number of settler arrivals varies with the economic and political situations in the countries of origin as well as on the situation in Australia (see Australian Social Trends 1994, Birthplaces of Australia's settlers). In 1995, 38% of settlers arriving in Australia (37,300) had been born in an Asian country. This represented a drop from the peak of 51% in 1991 but is still higher than at any time prior to the 1980s. In 1975, 15% of settlers had been born in Asia (8,200).
In 1995, 15% of settlers had been born in Southeast Asia, including 5% in Viet Nam. Vietnamese immigration to Australia has been in two waves with the initial flow in the late 1970s and early 1980s and a second wave in the early 1990s. The proportion of settlers from China increased from 1% in 1975 to 8% in 1995.
In addition to the 37,300 settler arrivals, in 1995 there were 45,500 long-term visitor arrivals of people born in Asian countries. These are people who visit Australia intending to stay for 12 months or more. Many of these came to Australia to study.
BIRTHPLACE OF SETTLER ARRIVALS
Overseas students in higher education
Overseas students are those who normally reside overseas and enter Australia on student visas to attend formal courses. In 1993, 42,600 overseas students were enrolled in higher education courses. Nine of the ten largest source countries of these overseas students were Asian (see Australian Social Trends 1995 Overseas students in higher education). In 1994 this pattern continued with the largest source countries being Hong Kong and Malaysia (both 17% of overseas students) and Singapore (15%). Asian overseas students accounted for 72% of overseas students in Australia.
Australians moving to Asia
In 1995, 4,700 people left Australia permanently to take up residence in Asia. 48% of these were people who had come to Australia with the intention of settling. A further 19,700 Australian residents left Australia for Asian countries intending to stay overseas for 12 months or more. Overall, Asian destinations accounted for 25% of all permanent and long-term departures of residents. The most common Asian destinations were Hong Kong (7%), Singapore (3%) and Malaysia (3%).
Asians visiting Australia
In 1995, 3.7 million people visited Australia for a period of less than 12 months (short-term visits). 50% of them were residents of Asian countries. In comparison, residents of Asian countries accounted for 23% of all short-term visits to Australia in 1985.
In 1995, 1.4 million (75%) short-term visits to Australia by Asian residents were for holidays. This was considerably higher than the proportion of other short-term visitors coming to Australia for holidays (46%). 8% (150,000) of Asian visitors came to visit friends or relations compared to 30% of all other visitors. This difference is largely due to the smaller population of Asian migrants and second generation Asian-Australians.
Many short-term visitors to Australia came from Japan. In 1995 residents from this one country alone accounted for 21% of all short-term visitors. Ten years earlier, Japanese visitors had accounted for 9% of short-term visitors. 89% of Japanese visitors in 1995 came for a holiday.
More Japanese residents (783,000) visited Australia than residents of any other country in 1995. This was more than seven times the number who had visited in 1985. In addition, 202,000 Singapore residents came to Australia as short-term visitors as well as between 130,000 and 160,000 residents of each of Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The numbers of visitors from South Korea and Taiwan in particular have increased considerably. In 1985 they each accounted for less than 10,000 visitors.
SHORT-TERM VISITS FOR HOLIDAYS
Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (unpublished data)
SHORT-TERM VISITS TO SEE FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia (unpublished data)
Australians visiting Asia
In 1995, 939,000 Australians travelled to Asia for short-term visits. This had increased from 445,000 in 1985. The numbers of Australians visiting Asia for holidays have been fairly stable over the last ten years. In comparison the numbers of those visiting relatives and friends and those making short-term business, employment or convention trips have increased.
In 1995 Indonesia was the most popular destination in Asia, accounting for 9% of all short-term trips overseas and 24% of short-term trips to Asia. Australians were more likely to go on holidays to Indonesia than to any other Asian country. 74% of all short-term trips to Indonesia were for holidays.
The number of short-term trips made to visit friends and relatives in Asia has increased over the last decade in line with increased immigration from the region. 61% (24,800) of trips to Viet Nam in 1995 were for this reason as were 46% (23,500) of trips to the Philippines.
Business trips have also increased, with 259,000 Australian residents visiting Asia for business and employment purposes in 1995. 200,000 of these were for business alone, up from 58,600 in 1985. These trips represented 21% of all short-term trips to Asia in 1995 and 13% in 1985. In comparison, 17% of world-wide trips in 1995 and 12% in 1985 were for business. The increasing number of business trips to Asia reflects Australia's stronger economic ties with the region.
MAIN REASON FOR SHORT-TERM VISITS OVERSEAS BY AUSTRALIAN RESIDENTS, 1995
Source: Overseas Arrivals and Departures (unpublished data)
SHORT-TERM VISITS FOR BUSINESS(a) AND EMPLOYMENT
(a) Includes visits for conferences and conventions.
Source: Overseas arrivals and departures (unpublished data)
At 30 June 1994, Australia had $130 billion invested overseas, and other countries had $370 billion invested in Australia. This had increased from $201 billion in 1988. Despite the fall in Asia's share of international investment in Australia, from 22% to 20%, there was an overall increase in the amount of Asia's investment in Australia from $43 billion to $76 billion. Asia's share of Australia's international investment increased from 9% to 17% ($7 billion to $22 billion) over the same period.
Much of Australia's investment interest is still in the UK and the USA. The proportions of Australian investment in these countries were 20% and 24% respectively at 30 June 1994. Correspondingly these countries were also the largest investors in Australia.
Japan was Australia's largest Asian investor holding 13% of overseas investments in Australia at 30 June 1994. However Japan's share of overseas investment in Australia has been decreasing since a high of 18% at 30 June 1990. Australia's investment in Japan continues to rise. At 30 June 1994, 8% of all Australian investments abroad were in Japan.
AUSTRALIA'S INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT POSITION
International trade in goods
In 1994-95, 63% of Australia's exports in goods went to Asia and 39% of Australia's imports in goods came from Asia.
Japan is Australia's largest trading partner, receiving 24% of Australia's exports in 1994-95 and providing 17% of Australia's imports. Japan has been Australia's largest trading partner since 1954. However, over the last decade, Australia's share of Japan's trade has decreased. Japan is the largest trading partner of many countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Australia has increased trade with the ASEAN nations over the last decade. Exports to ASEAN countries grew from 8% of all exports in 1984-85 to 15% in 1994-95. Over the same period imports from ASEAN countries grew from 6% of all imports to 9%.
Part of the growth in Australia's trade with Asia is due to the Asian economies growing faster than our other trading partners', and so increasing their share of Australia's trade. However Australia's share of trade with many Asian countries has actually decreased over the past decade because their trade with other countries has grown at an even faster rate than their trade with Australia. For example, Australia's share of Japan's trade decreased from 4.1% in 1984 to 3.3% in 1994. One major exception to this was Indonesia, where Australia's share of trade increased from 1.8% to 3.4% between 1984 and 1994.
AUSTRALIA'S INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN GOODS
Source: International Merchandise Trade Australia (5422.0); International Monetary Fund Directory of Trade Statistics Yearbook, 1995
International trade in services
There has been high growth in trade in services over the last decade. On a world-wide scale Australian imports of services are higher than exports but in Australia's trade with many Asian countries, the reverse is true. In particular services exports to Japan have continued to increase while services imports have declined in proportional terms. Much of the increase in trade in services with Asian countries has been through tourism and overseas students. As a consequence of this, travel has been the largest service provided to most Asian countries.
AUSTRALIA'S INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN SERVICES
In line with strengthening economic and cultural links with Asia, the Federal government has also increased ties with Asian nations. Australia is a member of APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation) and in 1994-95 '...continued to place high priority on the successful development of APEC, given its potential to advance Australia's regional and global national interests.'1 In December 1995 the government announced a new security alliance with Indonesia. This calls on both nations to consult with each other on external security issues.
In 1995, 2,338 people were employed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Australian overseas missions. 40% of them were employed in Asia, comprising 28% locally engaged staff and 12% Australian-based staff. These proportions have gradually increased since 1985 when 31% of DFAT overseas staff were employed in Asia, 21% locally engaged and 9% Australian-based. This proportional increase occurred despite an overall decrease in the number of overseas staff employed by DFAT throughout the world.
At 30 June 1995, there were also 31 Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID, formerly AIDAB) staff at Australian missions in Asia, an increase from 24 in 1990 and 18 in 1985. Australian aid to the Asian region in 1994-95 totalled $565 million, 38% of Australia's total aid for the year.
In 1994-95 Indonesia had the largest proportion of DFAT overseas staff in an Asian country at 5%. Between 1985 and 1995, China experienced the largest increase in staff numbers becoming the second largest DFAT overseas post in Asia in 1995. Laos and Viet Nam experienced the largest proportional increases in staff with Laos more than tripling and Viet Nam more than doubling.
Visits to Laos and Viet Nam by Australian ministers have also increased over the last few years, from none in 1985-86 to 4 visits each in 1993-94. Thailand also experienced a large increase in the number of visits, from 2 to 7 over the same period. Overall the proportion of ministers' overseas visits to Asian nations has increased, from 36% in 1985-86 to 48% in 1993-94.
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE STAFF(a)
Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report
FEDERAL MINISTERIAL VISITS(a)
Source: Department of Administrative Services (unpublished data)
1 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Annual Report 1994-95.