Asian roadmap shows
The Prime Minister has released a White Paper on Australia’s role in Asia in the coming century.
the path ahead
Prime Minister, Julia Gillard described the White Paper as a “roadmap showing how Australia can be a winner”.
Ms Gillard said the Paper was an ambitious plan to ensure Australia emerged stronger over the decades ahead, by taking advantage of the opportunities on offer.
“In this century, the region in which we live will become home to most of the world’s middle class and will be the world’s largest producer of goods and services, and the largest consumer of them,” Ms Gillard said.
“The scale and pace of Asia’s rise is staggering, and there are significant opportunities and challenges for all Australians.”
She said it was not enough to rely on luck because Australia’s future would be determined by the choices made and how it engaged with the region.
“We must build on our strengths and take active steps to shape our future,” she said.
Ms Gillard said the White Paper set out a number of targets over the next 13 years to ensure Australia could fulfil its ambitions and compete effectively within Asia.
She said these targets included that by 2025, Australia’s school system would rank in the top five in the world, and 10 of its universities would be in the world’s top 100; that studies of Asia would be a core part of the Australian school curriculum and all students would have continuous access to a priority Asian language - Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese.
Other targets, Ms Gillard said, included Australia’s leaders becoming more Asia literate; the Australian economy being more deeply integrated with Asia; with trade links seeing the region accounting for a third of GDP, up from a quarter today; and Australia’s diplomatic network establishing a larger footprint across Asia.
Ms Gillard said the White Paper set out actions that could be taken by governments, businesses and communities to play their part in shaping the future.
She appointed the Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Asian Century Policy with responsibility for delivering on the objectives of the Paper.
The White Paper can be accessed at this PS News link.
Edition 337, 30 October 2012