Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment

Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate

Senator for South Australia



3 September 2019


Record trade, record surplus, record exports

The Morrison Government has today welcomed new data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, highlighting the ongoing strength, resilience and international competitiveness of Australia’s export sector.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said Australia’s largest ever financial year trade surplus of $50 billion was built on record levels of exports of goods and services.

Our export sector remains strong with record levels of export volumes last financial year helping Australia to post its first current account surplus since 1975,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The Coalition Government’s intense six year focus on securing advantageous free trade agreements and more open markets has played a major role in Australia’s continued economic success.

“Despite these strong outcomes, the risks from global trade tensions remain a concern to Australia and the global economy.

“That is why our government continues to pursue further free trade agreements with our key trading partners, to enhance export opportunities for Australian farmers and businesses.


“By locking in low-tariff access to key export markets, and providing certainty of treatment of services exports and investors, these agreements will help to sustain economic growth by creating tremendous new opportunities for Australian businesses and farmers.


“Disappointingly, uncertainty still hangs over our latest agreements with the Labor Party yet to publicly declare if they support our trade deals with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru. To oppose these deals would deny Australian exporters the opportunity to enter new markets and create even more Australian jobs.


“Reflecting the Government’s commitment to trade outcomes that grow exports and create more jobs, we remain committed to our plan of ensuring that around 90 per cent of Australia’s trade is covered by free trade agreements by 2022.”

The value of exports of merchandise goods in 2018-19 rose to $373 billion an increase of 18.3 per cent on the previous financial year, and the value of exports of services grew to $97 billion in 2018-19 an increase of 9.9 per cent on the previous financial year.