"NSW industries are well placed to lead a national economic recovery and grow over the next year": NSW Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Stoner. Photo: Phil Hearne
NSW Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Stoner says the state's industries are well placed to lead a national economic recovery next year despite a drop in the value of NSW's exports last financial year.
Falling commodity prices and the relatively high value of the Australian dollar affected the earnings of key state exports in 2012-13.
The value of NSW's biggest export earner, coal, fell 7.5 per cent despite a rise in the volume of sales, and exports of education services have fallen for the past three years due, in part, to the high dollar. As a result, the overall value of total NSW goods and services exports fell by 4 per cent last financial year, a state government report on trade and investment released on Monday says.
Exports by the state's finance sector surged by 18.3 per cent to almost $1.5 billion last financial year while the export of professional services such as legal services, accounting and management grew almost 4 per cent to $2.39 billion.
Overall exports by the state's services sector rose 3 per cent to $20.7 billion. The NSW services sector has grown for three years in a row despite the dollar's high value.
Despite the drop in the value of NSW goods and services exports last year, Mr Stoner said he expected significant new trade and investment opportunities for the state.
''Global economic conditions and the high Australia dollar have contributed to a fall in state exports in the last financial year,'' he said. ''NSW industries are well placed to lead a national economic recovery and grow over the next year. These industries include agriculture, tourism, energy, financial and wealth management.''
The report says projects facilitated by NSW Trade & Investment in 2012-13 are expected to create more than $1.2 billion in new investment and $440 million in new exports and support more than 3780 jobs over the next three years.
The state government's half-yearly budget review this month said NSW's export growth should rise due to a weakening dollar.
Recent trade data underscored the growing importance of China and India to the NSW economy. While Japan remains the state's largest goods export market, China is the largest bilateral trading partner for goods. China has been the state's fastest-growing major market over the past five years and India has been the second-fastest major goods export market over that period.
India is a major market for NSW coal and the state's second-largest source of international students.
Mr Stoner said India's burgeoning middle class provided significant opportunities for NSW exports, particularly services, which were worth $1.8 billion in 2012-13.
Premier Barry O'Farrell made his third official visit to India earlier this month, saying it was ''a priority market for our state''.
Direct investment from China and India to Australia has grown more rapidly than for any other country in the four years to 2012.
Mr Stoner said a significant development for the state's goods exports was the performance of cotton in 2012-13, which rose by 11 per cent in nominal terms to reach a record high of $1.18 billion.