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Australia in the Asian Century - Strengthening Ties with Asia

Insight
28 October 2012
Australia, 28 October 2012 - The Australian Government today launched the White Paper on "Australia in the Asian Century."

Chris Freeland, Australia Managing Partner of global law firm Baker & McKenzie said, "As a business operating in the Asia Pacific region for 50 years, we welcome the Government's White Paper on how to strengthen Australian ties with Asia through outlining a road map of goals and national objectives.

"Australia's economic future depends on stronger engagement with Asia and harnessing the opportunities available to us as an Asia Pacific nation. 

"As reflected in today's White Paper, building relationships at all levels is critical, from schoolchildren to business leaders and government. A better understanding of Asian cultures and languages, and building professional exchanges, is vital to better do business across this diverse region.

"It is also important that Australia takes a wider view of Asia beyond China. China is of course critical to Australia's future, but there is also unprecedented growth and opportunity in the many countries in our region. For instance, the 10 ASEAN nations provide Australia with considerable opportunities, right on our doorstep.

"Australia has enormous opportunities to exchange skills and knowledge across a wide range of industries. Our clients in Asia tell us that they are looking for global best practice, particularly in the delivery of professional services - education, law, accounting and finance.

"All Australian companies looking for growth should have an Asian strategy. We are now firmly in the Asian Century and Australia needs to seize the opportunities in order to ensure a competitive future for our country to 2025 and beyond."

Chris Freeland is National Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie's Australian offices and a member of its Asia Pacific Regional Council. Prior to joining the Firm, Chris was a senior advisor at one of China's leading law firms in Beijing and a strategy consultant with The Boston Consulting Group in New York.
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