Nov 14, 2012

Australia - Asean strong links to China, Australia to improve global economy

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MELBOURNE (Nov 14, 2012): Stronger linkages between Asean, China and Australia can become the economic powerhouse to help drive the global economy, says the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI).

Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Dr Michael Yeoh said a collective power was crucial to support global economic growth, especially with the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), which were facing difficulties.

"With problems in the US and the EU, Asia will be the economic driver for the next few years," said Yeoh, to Bernama at the two-day World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF), which ended here Wednesday.

Entitled "China-Australia-Asean Partnership: Future Unlimited", the forum was the fourth edition and the first held outside Malaysia. Some 100 participants attended to share perspectives on issues facing China and the region.

Hosted by ASLI, the forum was aimed to promote the new silk road or a new economic corridor linking China through Southeast Asia, Australia and India to the Middle East.

Yeoh said the forum would also bring closer the global Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia, Australia and Europe.

"Today, over 50 million overseas Chinese reside outside China with wealth larger than the gross domestic product of many smaller nations," he said.

Yeoh said the topics highlighted at the forum were important within the region in bringing a closer collaboration between Malaysia, Australia and China, thus leading the country to become an investment hub for the region.

Among the topics deliberated are realising opportunities from partnership with the rising China, connecting diaspora and building linkages, climate change, business responsibility and ethics as well as collaborations in meeting global needs for proteins and food security.

Yeoh said the Fifth WCEF would be held next year in Kuala Lumpur as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants the organiser to promote Malaysia as an attractive investment destination.

The WCEF could be extended to London, Hong Kong and cities in China to promote a better understanding of the rise of the Chinese economy and its implications to the global and regional economy, he added.


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