Australia’s economic future: More trade, not less

Media release

02 February 2023

The inaugural Australian State of Exporters Report released today, uses data to tell the stories of our resilient exporters, both small and large, who navigated COVID-19 and trade disruptions, while adding over $646 billion to the national economy and employing some 3 million Australian workers in the 2020-21 financial year.

More trade, not less is a key part of how we build the type of economic future we want in Australia. This Report reinforces how critical our exporters are – contributing nearly a third of our annual economic output and higher-paying jobs.


From food and wine to critical minerals and education, Australia’s reputation for quality goods and services means our products are in demand right around the world. Australian exporters, 93% of whom are small and medium sized businesses, meet this demand by exporting to over 230 international markets.

Businesses trading overseas are not only more productive than their non-exporting counterparts, but they are more resilient and were more likely to survive the disruptions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our exporters are also a key source of secure, high paying jobs for Australians in both regional and urban areas. Collectively, they create 14% more employment and pay median wages 43% higher compared to non-exporters.

Australia is economically stronger when global trade flows freely. This is why the Albanese Government is focussed on opening doors for Australian exporters to grow and diversify their overseas markets through new bilateral and regional free trade agreements, such as the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) and the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA). We have also reinvigorated trade negotiations with the European Union and aim to finalise a Free Trade Agreement by the middle of this year.

A diversified economy that harnesses Australian ingenuity will make us stronger. This means not only diversifying where we export, but what we export.

ABF media



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