Australia in the Asian Century – a big vision for our country

29 October 2012

The Australian Government’s Australia in the Asian Century White Paper has been released.

As it says in its preamble, the scale and pace of Asia’s transformation is unprecedented and the implications for Australia are profound.

Australia’s geographic proximity, depth of skills, stable institutions and forward-looking policy settings place it in a unique position to take advantage of the growing influence of the Asian region.

The White Paper looks at what more can be done to position Australia to be an integral part of and to take advantage of the world's fastest growing region.

Specifically, it looks at:

  • the current and likely future course of economic, political and strategic change in Asia, encompassing China, India, the key ASEAN countries as well as Japan and South Korea;

  • the domestic economic and social opportunities and challenges of the Asian Century for Australia;

  • opportunities for a significant deepening of our engagement with Asia across the board, including in the economy, science and technology collaboration, clean energy, education, business-to-business and people-to-people links and culture;

  • the political and strategic implications of the Asian Century for Australia; and

  • the role of effective economic and political regional and global cooperation.

In a nutshell, the White Paper sets out a comprehensive agenda for making the most of the opportunities ahead, focusing on five areas: strengthening our economy; building our capabilities; connecting to growing markets; ensuring sustainable security; and nurturing deeper and broader relationships.

As partners Karen Payne and Stuart Johnson argued in their commentary published in The Australian on 12 September, Australia needs not only to trumpet our strengths to the neighbourhood but also to reduce the regulatory barriers that inhibit cross-border investment, increase the integration of capital markets in Australia and Asia and support the development of efficient and coordinated market regulation.

Read our analyses of some of the implications of the White Paper: