The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is working to build a stronger trading system that supports the services industry and continues to promote growth, development and job creation, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said at a Global Services Summit in Washington.

Highlighting the sector’s importance, he said services account for almost 50 per cent of world trade today, a greater share than either manufacturing or agriculture, which are more traditionally associated with trade.

Victoria's services export industry is led by international education and tourism. In 2015-16 education services increased by 11.3 per cent and tourism spending increased by 15.7 per cent, indicative of a significant rise in international tourists and students choosing Melbourne as their premier destination to visit, live and study.

Read Director-General Azevêdo’s full speech on the WTO website.