Australia’s trade in services recorded strong growth in 2015-16, increasing 7.7 per cent to $146 billion.

Trade In Services Australia 2015-16, which I release today, shows services exports grew 9 per cent to $68.3 billion, driven by an increasing number of international visitors who are spending more.

Tourism accounted for half of all services exports in 2015-16 with short-term visitor arrivals increasing to 7.8 million. New Zealand, China and the United Kingdom were the largest sources of international visitors. International visitors collectively consumed $34.2 billion worth of goods and services in Australia, with Chinese visitors the largest spenders at $8,405 per capita.

Education exports increased 8.3 per cent to $20.3 billion of which the largest component, education-related travel services, rose 9.4 per cent to $19.9 billion.

Exports of business services rose 8.2 per cent to $18.7 billion, with telecommunications, computer & information services increasing 13.9 per cent to $3.3 billion and technical and other business services rising 13.1 per cent to $3.8 billion.

The United States remained Australia’s largest two-way services partner in 2015-16, accounting for 15.8 per cent of total services trade (valued at $23.0 billion), followed by China and the United Kingdom.

Australia’s top services export market was China, up 21.3 per cent to $10.7 billion, followed by the United States, up 14.5 per cent to $8.2 billion, and the United Kingdom, up nearly 1 per cent to $4.9 billion.

The ten-country ASEAN region accepted $10.9 of Australian services exports, which is up 6.7 percent and accounts for 15.9per cent of total services exports.  Australia’s strong services exports have ensured our economy has continued to grow after the mining boom. Services exports are critical to Australia’s future economic prosperity, especially as several of our major trading partners shift from investment-led growth to consumption-based economies.

Demand for Australian services will continue to grow as Asia’s middle class does. Capitalising on this demand through our ambitious trade agenda is a key component of the Turnbull Government’s economic plan for a stronger and more diverse economy. 

Trade In Services Australia 2015-16 is available on the trade, investment and economic statistics section of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

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