Australia is well engaged with Asia, with Asian nations last year purchasing almost two thirds of our exports, worth $175 billion.
But Australia is not moving fast enough to lift productivity and enable improvements in the competitiveness of industries already deeply engaged with Asia.
The Business Council of Australia has released a report, Assessing Australia’s Trade and Investment with Asia, as a contribution to the federal government’s Australia in the Asian Century white paper process.
The BCA released supplementary information to the report in April 2012.
The report argues that improving the competitiveness of the Australian economy will be fundamental to making the most of opportunities for engagement with Asia, and government, business and the community need to work more effectively to achieve this goal.
The report highlights a number of policy priorities, including:
Domestic economic reforms focused on improving competitiveness, attracting finance and investment, and enabling businesses to continue to compete effectively in Asia.
Working effectively with Asian governments to remove or reduce regulatory restrictions and other barriers to trade and investment that prevent or restrict Australian and other foreign businesses from entering local markets.
Lifting the capabilities of business and governments in Australia, including the capabilities of the workforce, to build mutually beneficial relationships with governments and businesses in Asia.
The Assessing Australia’s Trade and Investment with Asia report was prepared with the assistance of ITS Global.