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Capital City: Canberra
%T:%M %A in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra
Boosted by the domestic demand, the Australian economy has been experiencing a sustained growth for many years. This growth is likely to go on, 3.2% in 2006 according to the IMF. GDP growth rate in 2003 was 3.8%, it was 3% in 2004 and was 2.2% in 2005. The unemployment rate historically is low (5.1% in 2005), and the public debt has reached its lowest lever since 20 years, accounting for 39% of GDP. Australia currently has to face two challenges : its population ageing and its currency rise which weakens its competitivity, especially in Asia.

Australia is a vast agricultural country and one of the largest exporters of wool, meat, wheat and cotton in the world. Moreover, the food processing industry is the largest industry in the country and employs 20% of the labour force. The country also benefits from exceptional natural resources (carbon, nickel, gold, iron, lead, uranium and other premier minerals), widely exported. The service industry occupies a dominant position in the Australian economy (71.69% of the GDP) and big companies of the country (NewsCorp, Lend Lease, AMP, etc.) operate in this sector.

Australia's commercial balance traditionnally is negative : the country actually exports raw materials and imports finished products. Australia's main trade partner is the European Union which represented 23% of the market share in 2005, the other principal partners are the United states, Japan and China. Products belonging to food, chemical, paramedical and interior decoration sectors fall in the priviledged category.
The main export partners are Japan, the United-States and the New-Zealand. Australia exports mainly mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation.

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