Strengthening exports

Strengthening exports over dinner

As Australia's gateway to the world, NSW is an ideal place from which to conduct international transactions.

  • The NSW Government welcomes international businesses and supports local businesses looking to export.
  • NSW is home to more than 14,000 goods exporting businesses, and accounted for almost 42% of the value of all services exported from Australia in 2015-16.

Strong export trends

In terms of their contribution to the state’s economy, exports of goods and services from NSW grew by 4% a year in real annual average terms over the five years to 2015-16 (balance of payments basis), and accounted for a 13% share of Gross State Product (current prices) in 2015-161.

In 2016-17, NSW’s merchandise (goods) exports were valued at $44 billion on a recorded trade basis.2

Coal is the state's single largest export earner, accounting for more than $15.2 billion in 2016-17.

Services exports from NSW were valued at more than $28 billion in 2015-16.

  • Education-related travel services is the top services export category, with other personal travel services (mainly tourism) ranked second.
  • Professional and management consulting services has been growing strongly as an export category and ranked as NSW's third largest services export and fourth largest export overall in 2015-16.
  • The state's top merchandise export destination is Japan, with exports to China, Hong Kong, the United States and Vietnam also growing strongly over the five years to 2015-16.3
  • China is NSW's largest two-way goods trading partner.

Maximising export opportunities

The NSW Government is focused on increasing exports to priority markets and sectors where the state's businesses have a competitive advantage.

In line with the NSW Trade & Investment Action Plan and to help businesses overcome challenges such as strong international competition, the NSW Government has increased the support it provides to businesses looking to export.

Measures include partnering with industry to promote trade missions into priority markets and sectors, facilitating an environment that supports innovation, provides business advisory services and builds export capability.

Practical measures for real progress

The NSW Government provides a range of free services to assist companies contemplating new, significant investment in NSW or local organisations considering exporting. These initiatives include:

  • the Export Accelerator toolkit, which delivers expert advisory support to eligible NSW companies
  • trade promotion programs, which are designed to increase the value of export sales and the number and size of exporting companies
  • a network of business, export and investment advisers in regional and metropolitan locations.

Delivering workshops, seminars and export labs

We are also delivering the Introduction to exporting workshops in partnership with the Export Council of Australia and the NSW Business Chamber.

Participating in a NSW Government export program can help businesses:

  • pursue new international markets and opportunities
  • connect with other businesses and resources
  • develop the capabilities needed for a high-growth export lifecycle, including workforce, management and entrepreneurial skills
  • develop new in-demand products and services in partnership with others.

Celebrating the state's best exporters

Through the annual Premier's Export Awards, NSW recognises and celebrates the achievements and contribution of the state's exporters.

These awards promote export excellence and are often used by winners to enhance their credibility and appeal in international markets.


Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

1. Adjustments for timing, coverage and valuation are made to recorded trade data by the ABS to convert them to a balance of payments basis for the State Accounts.

2. Merchandise trade statistics are compiled on a recorded trade basis from information submitted by exporters and importers to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, and allow for detailed breakdowns by commodity and country.

3. Country breakdowns by state are not available for services exports.