Business / Economy

Boao Forum helps Australia make vital connections with Asia: Australian minister

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-03-22 10:01

Boao Forum helps Australia make vital connections with Asia: Australian minister

Sydney Opera House in Sydney Nov 11, 2014. [Photo/IC]

CANBERRA - Boao Forum for Asia is expected to help Australia make vital connections in Asia so that Australia can participate in its growth, Australian Minister for Tourism and International Education Richard Colbeck told Xinhua on Sunday.

Colbeck will attend this year's Boao Forum as the representative of the Australian government. He views the forum as playing "a prominent and unique role to enable people from government, business and academia from Asia and beyond to discuss issues that matter to Asia."

"This year's theme, Asia's New Future: New Dynamics and New Vision, is of great interest to Australia and will provide a perfect opportunity to showcase our National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) and the exciting investment opportunities," he said.

He said Australian businesses, universities and research organisations are among the best in the world. Together with the country's regional free trade agreements, they have the potential to drive growth and prosperity throughout the region.

From 2014 to 2015, Australia has successfully signed free trade agreements with its major Asian trading partners of South Korea, Japan and China.

Colbeck is expected to promote and strengthen Australia's trade and investment links with China and the region at the forum.

"I will highlight the opportunities presented by the free trade agreements that Australia has recently established with China, Japan and South Korea."

"These free trade agreements have spurred demand for Australia's goods and services, and generated new business and investment opportunities which will drive economic growth and prosperity."

Colbeck holds that there are five key "super-growth" sectors that will provide economic growth for Australia over the next decade and the Asian region will be a key market for these sectors. They are food, gas, wealth management, tourism and international education.

As the global population grows by 60 million per year, demand for food will increase. Meanwhile, with Asia's growing middle classes set to boost their protein intake, this presents a great opportunity for Australian agribusiness.

Rapid growth in emerging economies has led to air pollution in the major cities in the northern hemisphere which will underwrite demand for Australian gas, a cleaner and greener alternative.

Wealth management is also a key growth sector as three billion people in Asia will join the middle class by 2030 and by 2050 the region will account for more than half the world's financial assets.

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