New trade and services data highlighting the importance of China as Australia’s major trading partner demonstrates why concluding a Free Trade Agreement with the world’s second biggest economy is a high priority of the Abbott Government.

The data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), combined with earlier ABS merchandise trade data, shows two significant milestones were achieved in 2013.  For the first time:

  • Australia’s goods and services exports to China exceeded $100 billion; and
  • Australia’s two-way trade in goods and services with China surpassed $150 billion.

Australia’s exports to China were valued at $102 billion in 2013, an increase of $22 billion (28 per cent) on 2012.  China accounted for almost a third of Australia’s total goods and services exports.

Japan was our second largest export market in 2013 with $50 billion followed by Republic of Korea ($21 billion), the United States ($16 billion) and India ($11 billion).

The Abbott Government’s successful conclusion of new bilateral trade agreements with both Korea and Japan and commitment to also quickly finalise an FTA with China, can help drive these trade and investment relationships to a new level.

Australia’s two-way trade in goods and services with China was valued at $151 billion (up $25 billion or 20 per cent on last year).  China accounted for almost one quarter of Australia’s total trade.

China was also Australia’s largest import source in 2013 with $49 billion (up 6 per cent on last year), accounting for 15 per cent of total imports. 

Our next largest imports markets were the United States ($39 billion), Japan ($21 billion), Singapore ($18 billion), and Thailand ($14 billion).

The ABS services trade release shows the United States was Australia’s largest two-way services trading partner ($18 billion) in 2013, followed by the United Kingdom ($10 billion) and China ($9 billion).

China was Australia’s major services export market for services with $7 billion in 2013 (up nine per cent), mainly driven by travel services (education-related travel services were $4 billion and recreational travel services were $2 billion in 2013).

The United States was Australia’s major import source for services with $12 billion in 2013 (up 14 per cent).

Australia has an enviable reputation across a wide array of services and opening up new opportunities for our services exporters in major emerging markets in the Asia Pacific is a particular focus of this government.

Further details are available on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – .

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