Media Release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D5 - Thursday, 15 May 2003

Services exports remain strong

Australia exported $31.2 billion in services in 2001-02, more than double the $14.7 billion recorded 10 years ago.

Export revenue from services has grown at an average rate of eight per cent a year since 1991-92.  Services exports in 2001-02 accounted for 21 per cent of Australia’s total exports.  The sector is a key contributor to Australian economic growth, and is a major source of investment and employment.  It is also a significant earner of export income.

In particular, Australia’s exports of computer-related services rose by 19 per cent to $949 million, and exports of legal services increased by 42 per cent to $347 million in 2001-02.

The United States was Australia’s largest single market for services exports valued at $4.7 billion or 15 per cent of total services exports.  The United Kingdom, our second largest destination, accounted for exports valued at $3.5 billion.  Exports to Hong Kong, our sixth largest services export market, grew by a strong 27 per cent to $1.5 billion in 2001-02.

While exports of services were down six per cent on the previous financial year’s record level of $33.2 billion, which was significantly boosted by the Sydney Olympic Games, Australia’s service exports are growing in sophisticated high value-added sectors such as IT and other professional services.

The services export figures are contained in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade publication Trade in Services, Australia, 2001-02, released today.

The publication provides a comprehensive analysis of Australia's international trade in services, by partner country, by State/Territory and by type of service.  It also contains inter-country comparisons of international services trade. 

Copies of the publication can be purchased for $26.50 through the Market Information and Analysis Unit (Ph 02 6261 3114 or Fax 02 6261 3321).

The main features and analysis from the report is available on the Department's website.  Orders for the publication can also be placed on the website.

Contact:  Nicole Guihot, DFAT Media Liaison on 02 6261 1555