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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/2006   
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Contents >> Chapter 3 - International relations >> Australia's credentials and place in the international system


Australia’s international interests are shaped in part by its geography and history, which have underpinned its active engagement in Asia and the Pacific and its close ties with North America and Europe.

Australia has a liberal, competitive economy marked in recent times by consistent growth, low inflation and low unemployment. Between 1998 and 2004, Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by an average of 3.6% each year - well above the global annual average of 2.6%. Australia is the 13th largest economy in the world. A modern and open economy, strong skills base and modern physical infrastructure support Australia's efforts to advance its economic interests overseas.

Australia's cultural diversity, record of constructive international engagement, strong political institutions and liberal democratic values - including commitment to the rule of law, freedom of the press and accountability of government - inform its involvement in world affairs.

The Australian Government published a second foreign and trade policy White Paper - Advancing the National Interest - in 2003. It is a comprehensive assessment of Australia’s place in the world and outlines how Australia can best use its political, strategic and economic assets to advance its national interests on the international stage.

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