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There’s a lot to like about franchising down under


U.K. flag in the upper left corner; seven-pointed star known as the Commonwealth or Federation Star depicts one point for each of the six original states and one representing all of Australia’s territories; on the fly half is a representation of the Southern Cross.

Location: Southern Hemisphere

Total area: 2.96 million square miles (about the same size as U.S., excluding Alaska)

Borders: Only country to occupy an entire continent

Capital: Canberra

Primary ethnic group: White

Language: English, but with a mixture of U.K. and U.S. spellings and their own accent

Population: 22,507, 617

Urban population: 89%

Median age: 38

Major cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth

Side of the road: Driving is on the left

Weather: Seasons are the reverse of U.S., hottest months are November through March

Flight time from U.S. West Coast: 14 hours, 20 minutes

Time zones: There are three time zones. Travelers cross the International Date Line so going east, subtract one day; going west, add on a day. From Los Angeles, you arrive two days after you depart; and you’ll return on the same day you departed.

Visa: Required before you arrive

Cost of flights (at press time): Ranging from $2,524 to $3,964 (coach)

Type of government: Federal parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm

Legal system: Common law system based on the English model

Prime Minster: Tony Abbott

Religion: Protestant 29%, Catholic 25%

Literacy: 99%

GDP: $998.3 billion

Labor force: 12.44 million (2013 estimate); ranked 43rd in the world

Unemployment rate: 5.7%

Fiscal year: 1 July to 30 June

Internet users: 21.2 million (90% penetration)

Cell phones: 30.2 million

Internet country code: .au

Electricity production: 225.5 billion kWh

Ease of doing business ranking: 10

Examples of local franchises: Pack and Send, the Cheesecake Shop

Examples of local franchises that have come to the U.S.: Aussie Pet Mobile, mobile pet groomer; Bark Busters, home dog training; ActionCoach, business coaching

Main U.S. Commercial Service office: Sydney

Franchise association: Franchise Council of Australia, www.franchise.org.au

AmCham: American Chamber of Commerce’s main Australian office is located in Sydney (with additional offices in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane) www.amcham.com.au

Environment: Driest inhabited continent on earth

Sources: Internet Live Stats; Encyclopedia of the Nations; CIA World Factbook,  www.australia.com, World Bank Group, U.S. Commercial Service website, Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands.

Top Cities Population

•  Sydney: 4.6 million
•  Melbourne: 4.2 million
•  Brisbane:  2.18 million
•  Perth: 1.89 million

Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)

One AUD equals 0.814 U.S. dollars (at press time)


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