SYDNEY, AAP – NSW will aim to more than double its exports over the next decade as part of a new post-pandemic trade strategy.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said in a statement on Friday that NSW currently exports about $96 billion in goods and services each year, and would aim to hit $200 billion by 2031.

The government will also set an interim target of $130 billion in exports by 2024.

“As we move forward with our roadmap to freedom, there has never been a more important time to advance our industries and give NSW businesses the support and connections they need to succeed beyond our borders, boost jobs and establish our state as the nation’s premier exporting hub,” Mr Barilaro said.

The plan includes a boost to NSW’s sub-sovereign overseas trade presence, with 55 overseas-based emissaries in 21 cities.

Six global trade commissioners will also be appointed in key markets.

The plan will aim to increase the number of exporting businesses in NSW, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, and diversify the range of exported products.

The announcement of the export plan comes as prolonged lockdowns across the state prompt an uptick in unemployment, with the jobless rate now at 4.9 per cent.

Monthly hours worked in NSW were 34.9 million lower in August than in July, a drop of 6.5 per cent.

It follows a seven per cent fall in the previous month, and makes August’s monthly hours worked 11.1 per cent lower than in March 2020.