Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Page: 1044


Senator FAULKNER (New South Wales) (18:02): I would like to make a brief comment on the importance of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade report Australia in the Asian century: towards 2025—country strategy. The recently released DFAT country strategies for China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea build on the critically important work of the previous government's Asian century white paper, the objective of which was to strengthen and deepen engagement with growing economies in our region.

The rise of Asia will define the 21st century, and Australia finds itself in a position of great strength to tap into the growing prosperity in our region. Our proximity to the burgeoning economies of China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea already presents exciting opportunities for Australian business. But the future looks even brighter.

These reports provide a snapshot of the very exciting opportunities for Australia in our region from now to 2025. I might quote from the report, because these words say it all. The report states:

Each strategy outlines a vision of where Australia's relationship with the country should be in 2025 and how we, the Australian community, intend to get there. The strategies identify opportunities for community, business and government to participate in and contribute to the process of deepening and strengthening our regional engagement. They reflect the views of Australians, collected during nationwide consultations, and in doing so continue the national conversation initiated by the White Paper, to better identify whole-of-Australia objectives and priorities for the Asian century.

In the very near future, Asia will not only be the world's largest producer of goods and services; it will also be the world's largest consumer of them. It is already the most populous region in the world. In the future, it will also be home to the majority of the world's middle class, primarily in India and China.

Australia's proximity to Asian markets, strong economy, highly skilled workforce and innovative and creative culture put us in the box seat to reap the benefits of the Asian century. The country strategies contained in the report that I am speaking to provide the road map to get there. I commend this report to the Senate. I think it is appropriate to acknowledge the work of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other participating government agencies in the preparation of the report. I commend it to all senators. Since the government whip has requested me to do so, I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.