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Australia delivered USD 5.44 billion in official development assistance (ODA) last year, or 0.36% of its gross national income. It is the eighth most generous country in the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC), which groups the world’s major donors. Australia’s goal is to reach 0.5% of GNI by 2017 – a goal the DAC encourages it to follow through on, given its good track record and relatively strong economy.
Australia’s productivity growth has decelerated markedly around the turn of the century. Part of the decline is probably temporary, but raising multifactor productivity is key to ensure that living standards continue to grow strongly, especially if the currently strong terms of trade weaken over time.
The Australian economy is robust and faces a solid short-term outlook, but it must continue adapting to ensure that its privileged place in the Asia-Pacific region contributes to long-term sustainable growth, according to the OECD’s latest Economic Survey of Australia.
Australia’s labour market reforms over the past 15 years have boosted employment and cut welfare benefit dependency.
Australia’s enforcement of its foreign bribery laws has been extremely low, with just a single case leading to prosecutions out of 28 referrals in 13 years. Cases may have been closed prematurely. Australia must vigorously pursue foreign bribery allegations.
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Australia’s education system achieves good outcomes overall - attainment of upper secondary education by adults aged 25 to 34 was 85% in 2010, above the OECD average of 82%
Skills and educational development for inclusive and sustainable growth are becoming significant drivers in OECD countries.
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Australia’s labour market continues to perform well in comparison with other major developed countries. The unemployment rate, at 5.1% in May 2012, is among the lowest in the OECD.
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Total health spending accounted for 9.1% of GDP in Australia in 2009-10, slightly lower than the average of 9.5% in OECD countries in 2010.
How can government policies move towards increasing agricultural innovation and improving productivity? This OECD conference shared case studies and ideas from Europe, China, United States, India, Africa, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.