Pharmaceuticals top hi-tech Aussie exports again

Export figures for the June quarter published this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that the pharmaceutical industry remains Australia’s most valuable hitechnology exporter.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said pharmaceutical and medicinal exports for 2009-10 totalled $4.12 billion, up two per cent from $4.02 billion in the previous year.

“These numbers underline the significant contribution Australia’s medicines industry is making to the economy,” Dr Shaw said.

“The industry has continued to export more goods around the world than any other hitech industries, including the car industry, the wine industry and scientific and medical equipment.

“Australia’s overall exports fell 11 per cent in the 12 months to June 2010 compared with the previous year.

“Pharmaceuticals were one of the very few manufacturing industries to have actually posted a growth in a very challenging global market. Most other manufactured exports declined during this time.

“This confirms the pharmaceutical sector as one of the unsung heroes of Australian industry. It is a real export success story.

“It is precisely these sorts of results that show why business certainty and a predictable policy environment are so important to the Australian medicines industry.”

Asian countries accounted for approximately 41 per cent of pharmaceutical exports in 2009-10. South Africa, Europe and New Zealand were the other major export markets.

Dr Shaw said export earnings for the Australian medicines industry had grown 800 per cent since 1990.

Australia’s medicines industry employs 14,000 people.

NOTE: The export figures can be downloaded from the ABS website: ABS catalogue 5368.0 International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Table 12a. MERCHANDISE EXPORTS, Standard International Trade Classification (1 and 2 digit), FOB Value, June 2010


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