Western Australia is the largest state in Australia, accounting for 33% of Australia’s total land mass. The state’s economy is primarily driven by the resources and services sector and the state contributes 14% (valued at AUD 259 billion, USD 171 billion) towards the country’s GDP, as of June 2018. While ranked as the 2nd least populated state and home to 2.7 million Australians, the demographic profile of the state is expected to change with the development of mega infrastructure projects, especially in its capital city, Perth.45
The state also holds the Argyle mine that is the world’s largest producer of diamonds by volume, which is scheduled to shut down in the year 2020.46 The key industries are mining, agriculture, forestry and fishing.
With an abundance of resources, the state is a key exporter of minerals and petroleum for Australia. As the regional center for servicing mining projects, WA currently has 127 high-value export-oriented mining projects and a number of smaller quarries and mines that produce over 50 different commodities.47
The mining industry has driven the state’s economy through improved investments in the mining sector during recent years. WA expects an increase in mining and petroleum investment through ongoing commitments made by major mining companies such as Gorgon’s LNG project, BHP’s South Flank iron ore project, Fortescue Metal Group’s Eliwana iron ore project, etc.47 On account of the rising global demand for green power alternatives and new battery technology, the state is also expanding its production of lithium, vanadium and rare earths. The Exploration Incentive Scheme, initiated in 2009, now funded with USD 10 million annually (from July 2019) is expected to stimulate private sector resource exploration of new minerals and energy.48
WA has also been supported in its growth through advancements in new mining technologies. Perth is the epicenter for the technological change in the mining sector. In view of reducing over-reliance on particular sectors of the economy, the State Government of WA is seeking to diversify its economic activities to sustain economic growth. Thus, tourism, agriculture, international education and manufacturing, among other industries are expected to witness an increase in investment from the state.49
WA has a sister agreement with the Indian State of Andhra Pradesh to explore various trade opportunities, in addition to exchanging cultural ties.50 Signed on December 2016, this agreement focuses on opportunities for collaboration in various key economic areas, including mining and mining services, agriculture and fisheries, energy production and distribution, higher education and vocational education and training.
45 Population of Western Australia 2019, Population Australia
46 Jewelers Are Already Nostalgic for the End of Pink Diamonds, 2018, Bloomberg News
47 Government of Western Australia
48 Government of Western Australia, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety
49 Opportunity and growth in the frame with Diversify WA, Government of Western Australia
50 Andhra Pradesh Government inks MoU with Western Australian Government, Economic Development Board, Andhra Pradesh Government