White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century

You may be aware that the Australian Government has commissioned a White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century to consider the likely economic and strategic changes in the region and what more can be done to position Australia for the Asian Century.

Specifically, the terms of reference outline that the White Paper will include:

  • 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 the Republic of 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.

The White Paper will be released in mid-2012 and will set out a strategic framework to guide Australia’s navigation of the Asian Century. It will also set out a series of actions that will be taken over the next five years and further policy initiatives to be developed over the next 10 to 15 years.
A whole-of-government task force has been established to prepare the document in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, led by Dr Ken Henry AC. A high-level Advisory Panel will provide guidance to the task force, drawing on a vast array of experience in the government, business and academic sectors. The Panel is comprised of:

  • Professor Peter Drysdale AM, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Australian National University
  • Mr John W.H. Denton, Partner and CEO, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Ms Catherine Livingstone AO, Chair, Telstra Corporation
  • Dr Gordon de Brouwer, Associate Secretary, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Dr David Gruen, Executive Director, Treasury
  • Dr Heather Smith, Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The White Paper will be a collaborative process, the product of a public dialogue and intensive stakeholder engagement. Input from the community, business, government and academic organisations will be crucial.

An issues paper was released on 17 December 2011 that outlines broad issues and asks questions to prompt further discussion. This issues paper (and further information on the White Paper process) can be accessed here on the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s website – www.asiancentury.dpmc.gov.au or to link directly to the PDF – http://asiancentury.dpmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/issues-paper/asian-century-issues-paper.pdf

If you wish to submit a submission, you will need to do so by 26 February 2012.

The process for submitting submissions is outlined on the relevant website at http://asiancentury.dpmc.gov.au/node/14

The contacts for general queries are also on the website – http://asiancentury.dpmc.gov.au/contact-us or email at asiancentury@pmc.gov.au


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