When I first started studying economics in the early nineties, the international economies that mattered most to Australia were Japan, then beginning its lost decade, and the US, the winner of the cold war and the undisputed global economic and political leader. We learned that China was emerging from decades of failed communism to embrace the market—or rather its so-called socialism with Chinese characteristics—and progress was good, although I didn’t appreciate then just how pivotal to the world economy China would become. Recall that earlier this week the global macroeconomic risk posed by China’s debt-ridden economy was the most reported part of RBA Governor Philip Lowe’s latest speech (see this SMH report).
Regarding South East Asia, while Singapore was a beacon of economic progress, the most populous economies of Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam were still largely desperately poor in the early nineties and had very little macroeconomic impact on Australia. Strong economic growth in these economies since then (e.g. see the latest forecasts in the chart above), with the exception of the Asian financial crisis period in the late nineties, has lifted many millions in these economies and throughout Asia out of poverty.
So now a broad range of Asian economies, the North East Asian economies of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and increasingly South East Asian economies such as Indonesia and Vietnam, are developing strong economic and social linkages with Australia. The most visible example to me is international education, which dominates the local economy around my office on Boundary St, Spring Hill. Hence, I was delighted and felt I was well positioned to accept an offer to address the Australian Institute of International Affairs—Queensland on the linkages between Asia’s tiger and tiger cub economies and the Queensland and national economies:
What are the opportunities and threats from booming Asian Tigers and are the Australian and Queensland economies geared to secure the benefits?
Presented by Gene Tunny
In this presentation, Gene will highlight the extraordinary growth coming out of Asian economies – particularly the three “tigers” of China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Are the Australian and Queensland economies adequately equipped to take advantage of this boom? Are we selling what they want or are we competing with them? In what sectors will that demand grow? Are we doing better than our competitors in Canada, New Zealand, the USA and Europe? Are we sufficiently diversified to protect ourselves against inevitable cycles in, say, China? Gene’s presentation will include a case study of the opportunities and challenges arising from international education.
The presentation in on Tuesday 12 June from 6:00 to 7:30pm at ACU Leadership Centre, Level 3, Cathedral House, 229 Elizabeth St, Brisbane CBD. It is free for AIIA members, $15 for non-members, and $10 for student non-members.
Many thanks to Paul Lucas, who is a member of the state council of AIIA and a UQ International Development colleague of mine, for suggesting me as a speaker and for also suggesting the topic.