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Services exports record strong growth

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THE HON STEVEN CIOBO MP Minister for Trade and Investment




19 February 2015

Australia’s services exports recorded strong growth in 2014-15, increasing by 9.4 per cent to $62.8 billion according to a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade report released today.

Growth has been particularly strong in education-related travel services, our largest services export and third largest export overall. International student expenditure increased by 14.5 per cent to a record $18.2 billion.

Preliminary estimates for the 2015 calendar year show that education exports continue their strong upward momentum ‐ over $19 billion for the year.

Strong growth was recorded in our three top services markets, China, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Expanding services exports is a key trade policy focus for the Government.

As the economy transitions from the mining boom to the ideas boom, services will be a central element of Australia’s transition to a broader-based growth model, one that delivers more diversified sources of growth, higher levels of productivity and job creation.

There is tremendous scope for growth in our services exports, given services account for around 70 per cent of our economy yet represent only about 20 per cent of our total exports.

The Government’s free trade agenda has opened up many new export opportunities for services. Following the entry into force of the China, Japan and Korea FTAs, Australia is pursuing early ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

We are also actively participating in negotiations to secure a WTO-plus Trade in Services Agreement, which involve 50 economies.

Today’s report shows that growth has been particularly strong in education-related travel services, our largest services export and third largest export overall, with international student expenditure increasing by 14.5 per cent to a record $18.2 billion.


Short-term international visitors to Australia grew by 6.6 per cent to 7.1 million, while expenditure on personal travel other than education increased by 6.4 per cent to $14.8 billion.

Our largest sources of visitors were New Zealand, China and the UK.

Exports of business services rose 10.6 per cent to $16.8 billion, of which financial services increased 25.4 per cent to $3.5 billion.

Australia’s top three services export markets were China (up 17.6 per cent to $8.8 billion), the US (up 10.3 per cent to $7.1 billion) and the UK (up 19.1 per cent to $4.9 billion).

Our top three services import sources were the US (up 2.2 per cent to $13.7 billion), the UK (up 0.8 per cent to $6.2 billion) and Singapore (up 2.6 per cent to $5.6 billion).

The report is available:

MEDIA CONTACT: Ben Dillaway 0409 598 102