Australia’s services exports grew by 9.2 per cent to set a new record of $71.2 billion in 2016, cementing services exports as a significant driver of our economy.

Today I release the latest Trade in Services report, which examines the composition and direction of Australia's services trade.

The growth in services exports is being driven by our booming tourism and international education industries as international visitors and students choose Australia.

Short-term visitor arrivals to Australia increased by 11 per cent to a record 8.3 million visitors in 2016. New Zealand, China and the United Kingdom led the way as Australia’s largest sources of international visitors.

The numbers of people studying in Australia continues to grow with expenditure increasing 17 per cent to $22.5 billion in 2016, highlighting the outstanding education opportunities Australia offers.

China was Australia’s largest services export market in 2016, valued at $11.3 billion, followed by United States valued at $8.2 billion, and Singapore valued at $4.8 billion.

Growth in services exports will be one of the driving forces that fuels Australia's economy beyond our current 26 years of continuous growth.

Demand for Australian services will continue to grow as Australia integrates more with the Asia Pacific through the free trade agreements delivered by the Coalition.

Building the architecture that supports growth in services exports is a key component of the Turnbull Government’s economic agenda.

The Turnbull Government is currently negotiating free trade agreements with Indonesia, Hong Kong, Peru and the Pacific Alliance (Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru) that seek to increase access for Australian services. We are also working hard to advance the Trade in Services Agreement negotiations.

The Trade in Services report, produced by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is available on the DFAT website: http://dfat.gov.au/about-us/publications/Pages/trade-in-services-australia.aspx

Media enquiries

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