Asia focus welcomed by services sector

The federal budget has done well to gear Australia’s services sector towards Asia, the industry body says.
Australian Services Roundtable president James Bond said education services and tourism in the region had been boosted. “Australia’s third largest export, education and training, which is worth $14 billion a year, has been hit by falling student numbers,” he said last week. “The budget further implements necessary visa reforms recommended in the Knight review of student visas to correct this decline.”
The government also had recognised the importance of Asia as a popular tourist destination by increasing funding by $61 million over four years to promote Australia as a holiday and business destination in the region.
“There is a services boom happening on our doorstep in Asia, but Australia will not realise benefits without effort,” Bond said. “This budget shows the government is beginning to understand that services exports to Asia could be a major source of growth and jobs for the Australian economy.”

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