Bran Black interview with Kieran Gilbert, News Day, Sky News

05 March 2024

Event: Bran Black interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News
Speakers: Kieran Gilbert Host, Sky News; Bran Black Chief Executive, Business Council of Australia
Topics: ASEAN-Australia Summit


Kieran Gilbert Host, Sky News: Let's go live back to the ASEAN Summit. Joining me is the Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia, Bran Black. Bran, great to see you. I noticed that you are partnering with the Government, some of your members, in trying to build what we call people-to -people links with Southeast Asia. Can you give our viewers a sense of what's going on here? What are you doing and what are some of your members committing to?

Bran Black Chief Executive, Business Council of Australia: Well, look, thanks so much for having me on the show and very happy to provide an insight into what we're trying to achieve here. It's really quite special. We know that the ASEAN region is the fastest growing region in the world. We also know that it's our second largest trading partner already as a block. So, the opportunity is right there. But we also know that it's a region in which there is an increasing population. It's 650 million strong now, and of that, 55 per cent are under the age of 35. So, that's an agile, it's a nimble, it's an ambitious population. What's more, at the moment we've got about 33 million households across the ASEAN region that have disposable income of $15,000 (USD) or more a year. That's projected to rise by 2040 to 144 million households. So, the opportunities there are really quite extraordinary. For us as the BCA we've been working with Nicholas Moore, Australia's special envoy to Southeast Asia, since he started developing his landmark strategy. We were there in Indonesia last year when he announced the strategy with the Prime Minister and we've been especially pleased today to be able to partner with the Government in relation to the Young Professionals Exchange Program. Which will see young professionals from Southeast Asia exchange with young professionals in Australia as well.

Kieran: It makes a lot of sense. You alluded to the two-way trade is already substantial, $178 billion in 2022. The Nicholas Moore strategy that you also referenced, the Government says it can get up to $500 billion plus by 2040. Is that achievable?

Bran: Well, we certainly hope so. And there's only one way to find out, and that's to give it a red-hot crack. So, we're, as the Business Council, particularly pleased, as I mentioned, to be able to partner with Government in relation to this initiative. But there are so many other important initiatives that Nicholas has spoken to in his strategy, and we've already seen that Government is putting its money where its mouth is. That's important because at the end of the day, vision without delivery is just a hallucination. So, our priority is making sure that we can turn this very ambitious vision into something very real.

Kieran: Yeah, indeed. It's a good initiative. We wish you all the best with it Bran Black with some of those exchanges, we'll stay in touch. Thanks.

Bran: Thanks so much.


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