Australia plans to unveil a 12-year plan aimed at fostering ties with Asia through 2025, looking to China as a possible doorway to the region’s fast-growing economies, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan is expected to provide highlights of the policy paper, “Australia in the Asian Century”, at a conference on economic and political ties between Australia and China, the largest economy in Asia. The paper will serve as a blueprint for the resource-rich country in expanding exports beyond raw materials and cater to growing Asian middle class demand for food, tourism and financial services, according to the Journal.
Mr. Swan also came to China’s defense amid the cooling of Australia’s mining boom which relied on demand from the Asian country. According to Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, China was the country’s third-largest source of investment last year. Opposition leader Tony Abbott raised concerns over the depth of Chinese inroads in Australia amid the growing fear that the slowdown in China could drag Australia down.
“Our success will be in part shaped by our capacity as a nation to eschew and denounce the types of xenophobic claptrap we’ve heard from various prominent public figures lately,” Mr. Swan stated in notes of his speech obtained by the WSJ.