Former Minister for Trade
Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Media Release

24 July, 2009

Australia's Services Exports up 10.4 per cent in 2008


Exports of Australian services increased in value by 10.4 per cent in 2008 to $53.2 billion, according to a new report released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Trade in Services Australia 2008 shows exports of Education services rose 23.4 per cent to $15.5 billion, and were Australia's top services export.

The United States was Australia's largest export market for services ($6.1 billion). The United Kingdom ($4.8 billion) and China ($4.7 billion) were the next largest export destinations.

Exports of Transportation services and Other Business services (including technical, professional, financial and computer services) also recorded strong growth of 7.1 per cent and 16.9 per cent respectively.

Australia's total trade in services increased 12.7 per cent to $107.0 billion in 2008.  Since 2003, the value of services trade has increased by an average of 8.4 per cent per annum. Last year, trade in services accounted for 19.1 per cent of Australia's total trade of goods and services.

The latest ABS data indicates that Australia's services exports, on a seasonally adjusted basis, have risen by 5.0 per cent in the first five months of 2009, compared with the same period in 2008.


Table A: Australia's top 10 exports of goods and services (a) (A$ million)

Rank

Commodity/service activity

2007

2008

1    

Coal

20,760

46,620

2    

Iron ore & concentrates

16,258

30,144

3    

Education services (b)

12,567

15,507

4    

Gold (c)

11,570

14,710

5    

Personal travel (excl education) services

11,845

11,661

6    

Crude petroleum

7,984

10,355

7    

Natural gas

5,079

9,244

8    

Aluminium ores & conc (incl alumina)

6,074

6,479

9    

Professional, technical & other business services

5,618

6,474

10    

Aluminium

5,883

5,777

(a) Rank based on 2008.
(b) Includes Education-related travel and Other education services.
(c) Balance of payments basis.

Sources: ABS trade data on DFAT STARS database & ABS catalogue 5368.

The publication includes an article reporting on the second survey of Australian export market for legal services for 2006-07 conducted by the International Legal Services Advisory Council (ILSAC). According to the ILSAC survey, total Australian export income from legal services was $675 million in 2006-07.

The major types of legal work undertaken included: Corporate (including mergers and acquisitions) valued at $215 million; Intellectual property, information technology and telecommunications valued at $157 million; Litigation (including international dispute resolution) valued at $76 million; and Banking and finance valued at $67 million.
The major markets for Australian legal services export income in 2006-07 were the United States and Canada which accounted for 29 per cent or $192 million They were followed by China and Hong Kong with $105 million and the United Kingdom with $82 million. This article can also be accessed from the Trade in Focus page on the DFAT website.  

The Government recognises the importance of the services sector to Australia's economy and the enormous potential to expand our services exports, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.The Government has placed a high prioirty on securing new market access for our fast growing services sector thorough our trade reform efforts at the World Trade Organization and in the various Free Trade Agreement negotiations Australia has underway.

This publication is part of a series of trade publications published each year by DFAT. The publications are available at:

www.dfat.gov.au/publications/statistics.html.

Should clients wish to obtain printed copies of these publications, they will be directed from the DFAT website to an external website, where they can place an order for a hard copy.

 

Media Inquiries: Mr Crean's office 02 6277 7420 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555