Pattern of Trade

Trade Intensity

Trade intensity is the sum of exports and imports over GDP.​

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Trade intensity measures an economy's integration with the world economy. A higher trade intensity means an economy is more susceptible to external shocks in the world economy.

Australia's Trade Intensity

Australia's overall trade intensity has been on a positive trend since the 1960s, however, the rate of trade growth has slowed in recent years.


Growth of Trade During 1970s to 2000s

This period saw trade as % of GDP increase from under 25% to a peak of 44%, a growth of 76%.  This increase in trade was due to radical trade reforms, with unilateral action to remove protections, especially in manufacturing industries such as textiles, clothing and footwear.


A report by the treasury, labelled Australia's Future Tax System, stated from 1990 to 2000:

  • Tariffs on personal motor vehicles fell by 62.5% from 40% to 15%

  • Tariffs on textiles, clothing and footwear fell by 61.5% from 39% to 15%

  • Tariffs on general imported products fell by 67% from 15% to 5%.​

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