Expert panel member provides insight into Asian Century White Paper
Posted 17/08/2012 by Cameron Hill
Emeritus Professor Peter Drysdale, a member of the advisory panel helping put together the Government’s much anticipated White Paper on ‘Australia in the Asian Century’, delivered a presentation on the White Paper at the Parliamentary Library on 16 August. A full recording of Professor Drysdale’s lecture can be found here.Professor Drysdale reinforced the enormous speed and scale of change in Asia, the major role (even on conservative estimates) that Asia would continue to play in the global economy, and its fundamental importance in shaping Australia’s future growth trajectory in the decades to come.Among Professor Drysdale’s remarks was his view that, even before its release, the White Paper had already started an important national conversation about the opportunities and challenges associated with Australia’s future engagement with the region. This conversation is not confined to the federal and state governments but, more importantly, has spread to the business, education, and community sectors. It also now encompassed not only economic but social policy settings. According to Professor Drysdale, one of the most important goals of the White Paper after its release will be to help facilitate the continuation of this conversation as various public policy options are discussed and debated in the years to come and as businesses and community groups develop their own strategies for engaging further with Asia. He also stressed that the White Paper, while not established to examine Australia’s future defence policies, will look at the political and security issues confronting the region and their inter-relationship with Asia’s economic rise. These issues have been the subject of renewed public commentary following the release of Professor Hugh White’s new book, The China Choice. Professor Drysdale noted the intense interest in the White Paper and indicated that it would probably be released over the coming weeks, subject to the priorities of the Government.
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