Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D04 - 22 March 2006

Services Exports Crucial Contributor to Trade Performance

Australia's services exports continued to rise in 2004-05, increasing four per cent to $36.5 billion, according to a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade publication released today.

Trade in Services, Australia, 2004-05 shows just how important services are to Australia's total international trade. Services exports accounted for 22 per cent of Australia's total exports of goods and services in 2004-05.

Three major service activities are in Australia's top ten exports. Personal travel services (excluding education-related), at $10.9 billion and up 1 per cent on 2003-04, were ranked second after coal; education services, at $7.2 billion and up 8 per cent, were ranked fourth after iron ore; and passenger transportation services, at $4.1 billion and up 4 per cent, ranked ninth.

Computer and information services grew two per cent to $1.1 billion in 2004-05, while financial services increased $9 million from the previous year to reach $1.0 billion for the first time.

This 2004-05 issue of Trade in Services, Australia presents a broader range of information than past issues, providing a fuller picture of Australia's trade in services with the world. In addition to the detailed official statistics on Australia's trade in services collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, information is presented on international student enrolments; numbers of short-term visitor arrivals and departures; tourism expenditure; and tourism purpose of journey information. Comparisons of Australia's services trade with other major countries' exports and imports of services have also been expanded with the number of comparison countries increased from seven to twenty one.

Trade in services , Australia, 2004-05 is part of a series published each year by DFAT. Copies can be purchased through the Market Information and Analysis Section (Ph 02 6261 3114, Fax 02 6261 3321 or email statssection@dfat.gov.au).

The main features and analysis from the publication are available on the department's website at http://www.dfat.gov.au/publications/statistics.html. Orders for the publication can also be placed at this website.

Media enquiries: Traci Williams, DFAT Media Liaison, 02 6261 1555