Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D5 - Thursday, 22 April 2004

Education Exports Lead Services Trade Growth

Australia’s services exports more than doubled in the last 10 years with growth particularly strong in education, computer and communication services exports in 2002-03, according to a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade report released today.

Trade in Services, Australia, 2002-03 shows export revenue from services reached $32.5 billion and accounted for 22 per cent of Australia’s total export revenue in 2002-03 - an average growth rate of seven per cent a year since 1992-93. 

Total education services exports grew by $400 million or eight per cent in 2002-03 to reach $5.2 billion.  Education services exports have grown at an average 13 per cent a year over the last 10 years and are now Australia’s sixth largest export.

Other strong performers included computer–related services exports, which rose by 11 per cent in 2002-03 to $1.09 billion and communication services, which rose by 17 per cent to $1.08 billion in 2002-03.

The United States was Australia’s largest single market for services exports valued at $5.2 billion or 16 per cent of total services exports.  This is expected to grow further following the successful negotiation of the Australia–US Free Trade Agreement.  The education sector, in particular, is expected to benefit significantly from moves to enhance the mutual recognition of qualifications. 

The United Kingdom, our second largest destination, accounted for services exports valued at $3.7 billion.  Japan was third largest taking Australian services exports valued at $3.4 billion.

Trade in services, Australia, 2002-03 (priced at $30) 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.  The publication is part of a series published each year by DFAT and 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 report are available on the department's websiteOrders for the publication can also be placed at this website.

Media enquiries:  Nicole Guihot, DFAT Media Liaison Section, (02) 6261 1555