Overseas trade in goods and services has an impact on Australian culture which extends well beyond its economic significance, as the imports of items such as films, music and books influence the way Australians think and act (ABS 2009a).
Australia continues to import more cultural goods and services than it exports. The value of exports of cultural goods increased from $576.2m in 2002-03 to $585.1m in 2008-09. In 2008-09, this included $259.7m of books, magazines, newspapers and other printed material.
In contrast, in 2008-09 Australia imported $3,548.2m of cultural goods (ABS 2009a).
In 2008-09, the largest commodity imported was radio and television receivers and apparatus for sound and/or video recording or reproduction ($1,526.7m). However, imports of these goods decreased by 13% between 2002-03 and 2008-09 (ABS 2009a).
In 2007-08, Australia earned $287m from cultural services, approximately 0.6% of its total earnings from services for that year. This was for cultural services such as audio visual and related services, which includes royalties in television, theatrical film, video tapes and music (ABS 2009a). For audio visual and related services, Australia's largest earnings came from the sale of television programs totalling $129m, up from $87m in 2006-07 (ABS 2009a).
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