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Table of Contents 10Introduction1 20The importance of international trade1 21 Imports1 211 Direction of imports2 22 Exports4 221 Direction of exports5 30Balance of payments6 40Exchange rates7 50 Foreign investment8 60 Trade blocs8 70 Conclusion10 References11 10Introduction Trade is of vital importance to Australia It now accounts for around 40 our national income with exports of goods and services generating around 14522 billion in income for Australia in 2001-02 DFAT 2003 The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature and importance of trade to the Australian economy In particular the scope of this paper will be confined to the benefits of trade followed by an analysis of changes in Australias trading patterns 20The importance of international trade The importance that Australia places on trade can be attributed to the fact that Australians are not able to produce all the goods and services required by Australian consumers DFAT 2003 International trade is geared around the concept of mutually beneficial exchange So by trading Australia is able to focus on producing goods and services in which it is most competitive ultimately enabling Australian consumers to gain from having a wider choice through importing of products and services that they are unable to produce for themselves That is Australia gains from trade the ability to import things it wants Krugman 1993 21 Imports About one-tenth of Australias merchandise imports consist of primary products such as food and beverages and crude petroleum while the remainder of manufactures consists mainly of elaborately transformed manufactures ETMs such as computers machinery and transport equipment The main service imports consist of transportation travel communication and insurance DFAT 2003 A list of Australian imports by broad categories can be seen in Table 1 Table 1 Australias import trade by broad category MerchandiseA Million Share Primary Products16505109 Manufacturers100342660 STMs1115773 ETMs89185587 Other280718 Total Merchandise Exports119654787 Services Transportation1087671 Travel1104372 Other1033868 Total Services Exports32257212 Total Exports15191110000 Source
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