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Reversing SA’s export slide critical to economy

An alarming $1 billion fall in the value of South Australia’s merchandise exports detailed in Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data released today is further evidence of the collapse of economic activity in South Australia.

The value of merchandise exports has plummeted by $1 billion or 8.2 per cent to $11.34 billion over the last 12 months in South Australia.


“The 8.2 per cent collapse in export activity is fuelling South Australia’s disastrous 8.2 per cent unemployment rate and threatening to send many small exporters to the wall,” said Shadow Minister for Investment and Trade Tim Whetstone


South Australia must reverse the loss of valuable national export market share over the past decade if we are to restore our economic fortunes.


Under Labor, South Australia’s national export market share has significantly dropped from 7.5% in 2002 to 4.2%.


Mr Whetstone said the dramatic fall in South Australia’s share of exports is a damning report card on the state of the economy.


“All Australian states are experiencing the same global economic conditions and yet South Australia has lost important market share,” Mr Whetstone said.


“In the 2015-16 State Budget, the ‘Globally Integrating the SA Economy program’ remained stagnant at $19 million, at a time when further support for exporters is critical.


“Recent figures revealed that South Australia was one of only two states with fewer exporters in 2013-14 than in 2006-07, with SA losing 100 exporters over this period.


“The State’s exporters are working hard to gain access to new overseas markets, competing on a global stage, with very little assistance from the State Government.”


Mr Whetstone said South Australia exporters must be supported to capitalise on new opportunities in the global market.


“This Labor Government has slashed funding to key programs that assist South Australian exporters to compete on an international stage and this state is well overdue for improved investment in an area which is critical to job creation and the economy,” Mr Whetstone said.