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We live in your world - January 2011

We live in your world - January 2011

Reporting highlights strength of services trade with Asia

Reporting highlights strength of services trade with Asia

Asia is now Australia’s most important growth market for services trade, growing by 70% between 2000 and 2008, almost twice as fast as services trade with the rest of the world.

The report, commissioned by ANZ and released by Australian Trade Minister Craig Emerson, examines four sectors -  education, transport, financial services and business services – and evaluates services trade between Australia and 16 Asian countries between 2000 and 2008.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Total services trade grew by 5% in the last financial year to a record $53.3 billion.
  • Despite this, it is estimated that only 50% of trade in services is captured in our balance of payments.
  • Education is by far Australia's biggest services export, increasing by 23% in the past 12 months and almost tripling in value over the eight year period.
  • During the same period, China’s share of Australia’s services trade more than doubled to 15.6% and India’s almost tripled to 9%.

CEO, Mike Smith, said that given services make up some 80% of Australia’s GDP and employ four out of every five people, it is critical that we have a deep and meaningful understanding of services trade.

“While our official statistics serve us well in goods trade, we need more data to fully understand services trade with the Asian region so that we can capitalise on the tremendous opportunities that exist to meet growing demand for services in Asia,” he said.

“The urbanisation of developing markets in Asia and rising living standards in the region will create enormous demand for services like education, health, transport, tourism and finance.

“If Australia is going to sustain the economic success that’s associated with the boom in hard and soft commodities, we need to ensure we are positioned to catch the next wave of growth which will be in the services sector,” Mike said.

Commenting on the report, Trade Minister, Craig Emerson said, “The value of Australia’s services trade is critical to our economy and is growing fast.”

“The report is part of the Gillard Government’s efforts to step up our engagement with our services industries and to support the growing internationalisation of the sector,” Dr Emerson said.

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