Australia Trade, Communications and Tourism
ECONOMY: TRADE, COMMUNICATIONS AND TOURISM
The tertiary sector is the sector that occupies the most important position as a percentage of GDP: in fact it participates for almost 70% in the formation of national wealth and absorbs more than three quarters of the workforce. Not only that, but the structure of the active population denotes an increasingly marked evolution towards service activities that are not directly productive. Among the services, the added value of the sector are those aimed at businesses and real estate services. In this context, the role of non-profit enterprises is important, which, above all in education, research and assistance, absorb the largest number of employees and constitute an effective network of social capital. Trade, a litmus test to observe the country’s performance, continues to be fundamental for the Australian economy, especially abroad: as a country located in Oceania listed on payhelpcenter, Australia is in fact one of the largest exporters of mineral and agricultural resources worldwide. The export also features wool, meat, wheat (for which Australia is the second largest exporter in the world), wine, sugar, iron and coal minerals, gold, aluminum, copper, petroleum and derivatives, natural gas, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, machinery, cars, electrical equipment. Instead, among the imported products there are means of transport, computers, telecommunications equipment, consumer goods, oil. The trade balance is in deficit; the trade takes place essentially with Japan, with China and with the United States, from which many imported goods come; other trading partners are South Korea, India and New Zealand for imports and Singapore, Germany, Great Britain and Thailand for imports.
In 2004, Australia entered into a free trade agreement with the US, which provides for a lowering of tariffs on 99% of the products traded and the abolition of tariffs on 97% of exported Australian products. The central bank is the Reserve Bank of Australia; Sydney is also home to one of the major Pacific stock exchanges, the Australian Stock Exchange. § Road and rail networks are unevenly distributed across the vast Australian territory. Both are affected, on the one hand, by historical events (colonial past following which the country has developed from the port centers of the coast towards the interior, and not along direct lines of direct connection between internal nuclei) and, on the other, by the population dynamics, historically concentrated on the east coast and in the South-West and South-East territories. It is no coincidence, therefore, that the greater efficiency and the highest degree of development are registered in these areas of the country. Communications between the opposite shores are difficult, even if the airlines make up for it very well (in 1947 the airline was nationalized Qantas); main airports are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Cairns, Adelaide, Darwin and Coolangatta. The railways, developed for over 40,000 km, are at the center of an intense restructuring.
The persistence of different gauge systems within them has contributed to aggravating the difficulties of interconnection between the different areas of the country. Currently, the narrow gauge lines are used for the transport of agricultural and mining products, whose run mainly covers routes that penetrate inland from the coast while the lines not used for commercial purposes only extend for 9,528 km. Among the main interstate lines, all managed by the Great Southern Railway: the Indian Pacific, which connects Sydney, Adelaide and Perth; the Overland that connects Melbourne and Adelaide and the Ghan that connects Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin since 2003. The road network, on the other hand, mainly connects the capitals of the individual states, but development is underway along the main routes of internal traffic. It extends for 810,200 km, of which just over 330,000 km are asphalted. The main artery, the Stuart Highway, crosses Australia entirely from N to S. The port system is of primary importance, both for internal and international connections: it is used above all for the transport of minerals (bauxite and iron) and fuels (petroleum). Main ports are Sydney, Melbourne, Fremantle, Newcastle, Adelaide and Brisbane. § International tourism is growing, also thanks to the convenience of air fares; tourists come mostly from Japan, New Zealand, the European Union and the USA.
The indigenous languages of Australia are numerous but still poorly understood and retreating from English. From these languages English has borrowed a number of words (boomerang, kangaroo, etc.) which then became widespread. The vocabulary and phonetic system of Australian languages are poor, while the morphology is more complex; the genus is distinguished with different voices, the number with suffixes, the verb is complicated and changes according to the different linguistic varieties. The classification of Australian indigenous languages presents considerable difficulties; geographically, the following groups can be distinguished: North Kimberley languages; from southeastern Australia; of central Australia; from north and central Queensland; of New South Wales. It is also difficult to identify a genealogical unit and relationships with other linguistic groups: among the safest is the one with the Papuan languages included in the linguistic domain of Oceania.