Increased trade in financial services through foreign affiliates
More Australian finance and insurance companies are working with foreign affiliate companies than ever before, according to a new survey released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The figures revealed a three-fold increase on similar data collected in 2002-03. During 2009-10, Australian companies worked with 1,245 affiliate companies to trade in financial services in 70 different export markets, as part of an industry worth $40 billion.
While Australia’s trade in financial services remains strong, the data indicates most sales take place through overseas in-country affiliates, rather than via direct sales from Australia. Analysts said the figures highlighted the need for Australian companies to establish a physical presence in export markets in order to take maximum advantage of the market for services.
Last financial year, the key markets for Australian trade in financial services were New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The strong figures were released against a backdrop of a slight decline in Australian services exports, with trade down 0.5 percent to $52.4 billion last financial year.