Australia's total trade in services increased 3.6 percent year-on-year to 113.2 billion AU dollars (almost 104.6 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012, according to Trade in Services, Australia 2012, released on Tuesday by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Trade in Services is part of a series published each year by the department on Australia's international trade in goods and services.
According to this figures, services exports rose 1.2 percent to 50.9 billion AU dollars (about 47 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012, accounting for 16.9 percent of Australia's total exports, while imports of services increased 5.5 percent to 62.4 billion AU dollars (about 57.65 billion U.S. dollars), accounting for 19.7 percent of Australia's total imports.
And the figures showed that the biggest rises in services exports could be seen in professional and management consulting services, business travel services and financial services.
Professional services exports in particular rose 18.6 percent to 3.9 billion AU dollars (about 3.6 billion U.S. dollars), the highest on record and above the pre-global financial crisis peak of 3.7 billion AU dollars (about 3.42 billion U.S. dollars). Within professional services, management fees, accounting and auditing services and legal services gained strong increases.
The number of business travelers to Australia rose 3.7 percent to 1.1 million AU dollars (about 1.02 billion U.S. dollars). This contributed to an increase of 14.9 percent in business travel services exports to 4.1 billion AU dollars (about 3.79 billion U.S. dollars). Partially offsetting the exports rises were falls in education-related travel, transport services and intellectual property charges.
The data also showed that Australia's top three services export markets were China, the United States and Britain. Australia's top three services import sources were the United States, Britain and Singapore.