Survey of International Investment

Ready to complete your survey now?

Click the button below to create and log into your ABS Survey Account and complete your survey online. 

Contact us

If your question about the International Investment Survey is not answered on these pages you can also call the freecall (excluding mobile phones) phone number on the contact us page.

Purpose of the survey

The Survey of International Investment (SII) is a quarterly survey which collects information about investment activity into and out of Australia. The SII measures: 

  • the levels (stock) of foreign financial assets and foreign liabilities of residents
  • financial transactions (investment flows) resulting in increases and decreases in the levels of these assets and liabilities
  • other changes in the levels of these assets and liabilities
  • income accrued on these assets and liabilities.

Collectively, these aspects are referred to as international investment activity. The results from this survey are published quarterly in Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia. International Investment Position statistics are drawn upon by a wide variety of individuals and organisations in both the public and private sector, with major users including:

  • The ABS' National Accounts
  • Reserve Bank of Australia
  • Commonwealth Department of Treasury and the State Treasuries
  • State and Commonwealth Government departments and agencies- Industry organisations and associations
  • Schools, universities and other educational institutions
  • Market analysts and economists
  • Media.

Additional help

For common questions about participation in ABS business surveys, please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

For help using the online survey tool (eSurvey) please see eSurvey - Help.

For questions regarding the completion of specific questions refer to the Explanatory notes to accompany International Investment Survey forms.

The ABS is grateful for the cooperation of businesses in returning their completed forms promptly to enable early processing and production of high quality statistics. We look forward to your continued support.

Frequently asked questions

How was I selected?

The survey is based on a partial census of approximately 1,000 enterprise groups from a total population of approximately 3,000 which are in scope of the survey. Your enterprise group has been identified as having significant international transactions which meets the criteria to complete the survey.

Can I have more time to complete the form?

Businesses experiencing difficulties in completing ABS survey forms by the due date can request an extension of time. Extensions may be granted on a case by case basis, and should be requested by contacting the toll free telephone number which appears on the front of the survey form. Please note that careful estimates are acceptable if actual data is not available.

Is it compulsory? What if I refuse to fill it in?

The ABS relies on the willing cooperation of businesses selected in our surveys to provide accurate information as requested. The vast majority of businesses respond regularly to our requests for information.

However, the Census and Statistics Act 1905 provides the Australian Statistician with the power, if necessary, to direct you in writing to answer the questions. As most business survey results contribute towards policy and legislation formulation it is highly important that a response is provided as this will ensure that we are able to produce reliable and useful results.

This is an intrusion into my private business. Is confidentiality guaranteed?

Data supplied by businesses to the ABS remains strictly confidential. It is used to compile aggregate estimates and under no circumstances does the ABS publish any data which would enable your data to be identified. Further, it is an offence under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 for ABS staff to either directly or indirectly, divulge or communicate any information furnished in pursuance of the Act to any person (other than the person from whom the information was obtained). The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

What about the workload we already have?

The ABS is very conscious of the reporting load imposed on businesses in completing our statistical surveys. For some time the ABS has been actively pursuing a policy of reducing this load to the minimum necessary to fulfil its obligations as a national statistical agency.

Why don't you pay people to fill in your forms?

To enable the ABS to fulfil its responsibilities as the national statistical organisation, the Census and Statistics Act 1905 provides for the compulsory furnishing of statistical information. The Act does not provide for payment of respondents to statistical collections. If the ABS was required to pay for the statistical information it collects it could not do so without significant additional funds. It is ABS policy that businesses responding to ABS surveys are entitled to a complimentary copy of relevant publications upon request.

How accurate do the figures need to be?

The ABS requires information that is as accurate as possible. The information supplied by your business is used to produce estimates for all businesses within the same industry operating in Australia. The more accurate the figures you supply, the more accurate the estimates will be. However, if accurate data is not readily available, careful estimates will be accepted.

Our processing systems contain checks for consistency and validity and are usually able to identify figures which are seriously incorrect. These checks suggest that most businesses do behave responsibly and give the best figures that they can.

I have already sent you the information requested.

If you have received a reminder notice about your form, it probably means you have returned the form at the same time as your reminder notice was issued. If you wish to confirm this, feel free to contact us so we can check against our records.

My business is ASX listed and we are unable to release any financial information until we announce our results to shareholders.

The Census and Statistics Act 1905, under which surveys are conducted, protects the confidentiality of all information supplied to the ABS. The information contained in your return is published at an aggregate level and ensures that individual companies cannot be identified.

Back to top of the page