Queensland Business Centre

Australia/Qld Market Overview

Australia is the world’s 12th largest economy, having enjoyed 23 straight years of expansion thanks to its position as a leading supplier of vital resources and first-world services to Asia/Japan.

The eastern state of Queensland is the nation’s third-biggest economy, sized at
A$300 billion in 2014, with an abundance of business opportunities.

Natural Resources/Energy

Queensland has established a strong position as one of the world’s leading suppliers of natural resources and energy, including coal, liquefied natural gas and a range of base metals. In addition, Queensland is acknowledged as a key innovator in clean energy, including solar power and biomass.


Australia is famous for its education industry. Five Australian universities are ranked among the world’s top 100 universities, including the University of Queensland (World University Rankings 2014-2015, The Times Higher Education). Moreover, Australia is recognised as Asia’s leading English-speaking educator, hosting numerous overseas students, including thousands of Japanese.


There are 19 world heritage sites in Australia, including Queensland’s world famous Great Barrier Reef. Some 157,000 Japanese tourists visited Queensland in the year to June 2014, led by visits to North Queensland, Gold Coast and Brisbane, while 302,000 Australians visited Japan in calendar 2014.

Construction/Real Estate

The construction and real estate industry contributes more than A$30 billion a year to the Queensland economy, or around 12% of Gross State Product. Japan has been a longstanding investor in Queensland’s property industry and the Queensland Government actively encourages foreign investment.


Japan is Queensland’s largest market for agricultural exports, including beef, fish, fruit, grains, sugar and wine. With a reputation for being ‘clean and green,’ Queensland aims to double agricultural production by 2040 to help supply growing demand from Asia.

Queensland-Japan Sister States

The strength of Queensland-Japan ties at a local level is demonstrated by the more than 20 sister state/city relationships:


State Partner Prefecture
Queensland Saitama
Queensland Osaka
Queensland Local Government Japan Local Government
Brisbane City Council Kobe, Hyogo
Bundaberg Regional Council Settsu, Osaka
Cairns Regional Council Minami, Kaihu-gun, Tokushima
Cairns Regional Council Oyama,Tochigi
Central Highlands Regional Council Ichinoseki,Iwate
Fraser Coast Regional Council Otsuki, Yamanashi
Fraser Coast Regional Council Kasukabe, Saitama
Gladstone Regional Council Saiki, Oita
Gold Coast City Council Takasu, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
Ipswich City Council Nerima, Tokyo
Logan City Council Shibukawa, Gunma
Logan City Council Hirakata, Osaka
Mackay Regional Council Matsuura, Nagasaki
Moreton Bay Regional Council Sanyo-onoda, Yamaguchi
Rockhampton Regional Council Ibusuki, Kagoshima
Southern Downs Regional Council Shiwa, Iwate
Sunshine Coast Regional Council Tatebayashi, Gunma
Sunshine Coast Regional Council Hiji, Oita
Toowoomba Regional Council Takatsuki, Osaka
Townsville City Council Shunan, Yamaguchi
Townsville City Council Iwaki, Fukushima
Whitsunday Regional Council Saikai, Nagasaki


Japan/Tokyo Market Overview

Japan – world-leading economy and culture

Japan is one of East Asia’s leading nations, with the world’s third-biggest economy and a population of 127 million. The capital Tokyo and its surrounding metropolis is the biggest city in the world encompassing 32 million people, being the central hub of the Japanese economy and politics.

As a leading developed economy in the Asian region, Japan has a close relationship with Queensland/Australia in numerous industries including agriculture, education, minerals and energy, and tourism.

Distance is not an issue between these two close allies. Regular flights from Queensland’s Capital Brisbane, Gold Coast and Cairns connect Tokyo to Queensland, while the time difference is just one hour all year-round (eg. 6pm Tokyo time = 7pm Queensland time).

 Host of the 2020 Olympics and 2019 Rugby World Cup

Tokyo has been chosen as host of the 2020 Olympics, delivering an estimated $40 billion economic boost. The event is expected to contribute significant benefits, including 150,000 local jobs and 8.5 million tourists, putting the nation’s capital in the international spotlight. In 2019, Japan will host another major sporting event, the Rugby World Cup, which is expected to attract thousands of Australian and international sports fans.

Developed business infrastructure

Japan offers an advanced business infrastructure and legal system, facilitating the entry of foreign businesses with full intellectual property protection. As a sophisticated business hub in East Asia, Japan is an ideal base for the world’s fastest growing region.

Attractive market for Queensland/Australian exporters

Japan’s population is 5.5 times larger than Australia’s, while its 2013 GDP was over three times bigger at nearly US$5 trillion compared to Australia’s US$1.5 trillion. The population of Japan’s Kanto region spanning Tokyo and six other prefectures is almost double Australia’s, with 43 million people in a highly concentrated area of economic wealth.


Tokyo/Kanto region – a huge and wealthy market

The Kanto region boasts annual GDP exceeding US$2 trillion, making it a highly attractive market for exporters.As of 2010, household final consumption expenditure in the Tokyo area amounted to US$32,500 per year, exceeding Australia’s equivalent spending of US$28,600 and well above neighbouring Asian countries.Tokyo’s population continues to grow, expanding by 4 million to reach 32 million people during the decade through to 2010.


Why Australia and Japan?

 Strong Japan-Queensland trade relationship

Japan and Queensland have a close relationship in trade and investment, reflecting longstanding and friendly ties.

Japan is Queensland’s second-largest trading partner, accounting for around 20% of total exports, while Japanese imports are around 10% of total imports.

A wide range of Queensland products, including beef, coal and gas are imported by Japan, while Japan exports manufactured goods to Queensland, reflecting a highly complementary relationship.

Rank Country Percent
1st China 20.7%
2nd Japan 18.0%
3rd South Korea 11.3%
4th India 10.8%
5th  Taiwan 4.4%
Rank Country Percent
1st  China 13.3%
2nd United Stats of America 11.8%
3rd  Japan 10.4%
4th  Thailand 6.0%
5th  South Korea 5.5%


Exports of goods by country of destination, value, Queensland, 2004–05 to 2014–15 (data table)

Overseas imports of goods by country of origin (per cent of value), Queensland, 2004–05 to 2014–15 (data table)

Trade (Tables section)


Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement

Officially launched on 15 January 2015 after seven years of negotiation, the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) is the most liberalising trade agreement Japan has ever signed with a major agricultural exporter. Under JAEPA, more than 97% of Australia’s exports to Japan will receive preferential access or enter duty-free, while Japanese exporters will benefit from the elimination of Australia’s tariffs on Japanese cars, electronics and household goods.

Japanese consumers are expected to benefit from cheaper Australian beef, dairy, wine and other agricultural products. Australia’s beef industry expects a A$5.5 billion boost to exports over 20 years, while wine exporters will be cost-competitive with rivals, benefitting Australian wine makers such as Queensland’s Sirromet Wines.

A 2006 study estimated potential trade gains of A$68 billion to Japanese consumers and A$19 billion to Australians over a 20-year period. Two-way trade between Australia and Japan totalled A$71 billion in 2013, with Japan comprising Australia’s second-largest trading partner and third-largest source of foreign investment.

“JAEPA will spur increased Japanese investment in new areas such as services, as well as the traditionally strong sectors of resources, agriculture and property,” Global Sky’s Managing Director Ko Nagata says. “With the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and associated investment, the Japan tourism boom and the economic boost to Japanʼs prospects from ʻAbenomics,ʼ now is a perfect time for Australian SMEs to explore the many opportunities available in the worldʼs third-biggest economy.”

For more information on JAEPA, please visit