Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

D9 - Friday, 6 May 2005

Education Exports Lead Services Trade Growth

Australia’s services exports recovered strongly to rise four per cent in 2003-04 reaching $34 billion, according to a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade report released today.

Trade in Services, Australia, 2003-04 shows growth was particularly strong in education, computer services, and financial services.

Education services exports grew by 13 per cent in 2003-04 to reach $5.9 billion.  Education services are among the fastest growing exports and are now Australia’s third largest export.  Australia has become a major supplier of international education, now accounting for a 12.6 per cent market share of onshore higher education in English-speaking countries.

Computer services grew three per cent to $1.1 billion in 2003-04, while financial services increased to $995 million, up $11 million from the previous year.

Trade in services, Australia, 2003-04 also features an article detailing the services trade by foreign affiliates of Australian companies – a significant aspect of Australia’s economic interaction with the world that is not included in Australia’s trade flow statistics.  A survey conducted in 2002-03 of Australian affiliated companies operating abroad showed Australia had more than $152 billion invested in these overseas companies.  The sales of goods and services by these foreign affiliates reached $142 billion in 2002-03, almost as much as the $148.5 billion of goods and services recorded as exports from Australia in the same year.  Financial and insurance services, by far the most significant of the services provided by these foreign affiliates, was valued at $25.4 billion or 39 per cent of total services sales by foreign affiliates.

Trade in services, Australia, 2003-04 (priced at $40) provides a comprehensive analysis of Australia's international trade in services, by partner country, by state/territory and by type of service.  It also contains inter-country comparisons of international services trade.  The publication is part of a series published each year by DFAT and copies can be purchased through the Market Information and Analysis Section (Ph 02 6261 3114, Fax 02 6261 3321 or email statssection@dfat.gov.au).

The main features and analysis from the report are available on the department's website.  Orders for the publication can also be placed at this website.

Media Inquiries: DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555