Event Recap | Asia Briefing LIVE 2018

Sydney 1 November 2018 

Last week we brought together 100 business, policy and education leaders for our first Asia Briefing LIVE - an executive non-partisan forum taking the pulse of Asia and Australia's engagement with the region and addressed among others by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen. Stay tuned, join, follow us, subscribe to Asia Briefing to keep informed, as Australia charts its course through difficult geostrategic and geoeconomic dynamics in Asia. 

 
 

A look into Asia's new geopolitics:

China pushes the world

China’s influence is rapidly growing in South East Asia and the South Pacific through aid, investment, and military power. 90% of guests at Asia Briefing LIVE voted that we should accept China's rising power and try to work with it. 


Minxin Pei

 

"You can’t expect to have a Cold War and a hot economy at the same time." Professor Minxin Pei, Tom and Margot Pritzker ’72 Professor of Government, Claremont McKenna College

Jane Golley

 

"If we are going to point fingers at China, let’s look inward and get our own houses in order." Dr Jane Golley, Associate Professor and Acting Director, Australian Centre on China in the World, Australian National University

LEE Baeksoon

 

"People talk too much about the Quad. We need to talk about a regional cooperation concept." H.E. LEE Baeksoon, Ambassador, Republic of Korea

Kwok Fook Seng

 

"I don’t see conflict between the Asia Pacific and Indo Pacific. It doesn’t diminish our ability to cooperate." H.E. Kwok Fook Seng, High Commissioner, Republic of Singapore

Richard Maude

 

"America is our ally and that will remain. U.S. economic and security engagement in the region is in Australia's national interest." Richard Maude, Deputy Secretary, Indo-Pacific Group, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Haidi Stroud-Watts

 

MODERATOR Haidi Stroud-Watts, Sydney anchor, “Daybreak Australia”, Bloomberg

 

More insights and analysis on whether it's time for Australia to pick sides at Asia Briefing #11 | Asia Briefing LIVE Special Edition


Asia's economies and markets in the grip of a trade war:

Trump and the Dragon

The panel of economists argued that if Australia does not refresh and reboot existing institutions like the WTO it might end up in a world that has two trading blocks, two currencies, and two Internets. This overarching U.S.-China binary was reflected in the poll - no-one at Asia Briefing LIVE voted that Australia will come out unscathed if the U.S.-China trade war continues to escalate.

India high tech

There was talk about Australia recasting its primary economic partner as India. International guest speaker TN Ninan explained that this would require Australia to move beyond a simplistic binary of import/export and recognise India as a competitor.

TN Ninan

 

"I don’t think that India is about to become a second China but it will be number two to China."  TN Ninan, Chairman, Business Standards Ltd

Chris Bowen

 

"It (US-China trade war) could be worse than we might hope." The Hon. Chris Bowen MP, Member for McMahon, Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Small Business

Heather Ridout

 

"These institutions (like WTO) need to be reformed and take account of new players like China and India." Heather Ridout AO, Chair, Australian Super

Sally Auld

 

"Global growth is dependent on the US, but rates are being tightened there." Sally Auld, Chief Economist and Head, AUS/NZ Fixed Income and FX Strategy, J.P. Morgan

Michael Heath

 

MODERATOR Michael Heath, Australia economics reporter, Bloomberg

 

More insights and analysis on the "two unorthodox personalities conducting a new Cold War" at Asia Briefing #11 | Asia Briefing LIVE Special Edition


Australia-Asia 360°:

China flag

There was broad consensus that the Australian government has dragged China through its domestic policy with 75% of guests voting management to be clumsy and inconsistent.

Huawei

Australia's business engagement also came under scrutiny with concerns that it has shut its doors to Asia. Huawei was banned from rolling out 5G across Australia, and CKI Group's bid for gas pipeline operator APA faces possible rejection on national security grounds. 64% of Asia Briefing LIVE guests supported these lock-out laws, voting that Australia is right to protect its assets from potentially hostile foreign ownership.

More insights and analysis from Greg Earl at Asia Briefing #11 | Asia Briefing LIVE Special Edition


Australia open for business:

Panda smoking

Despite numerous concerns about rising Chinese debt, 55% of Asia Briefing LIVE guests see China as the biggest opportunity for Australian business. India came in second but with only 24% support.

Mark Whelan

 

"The Australian economy has had a great run, but complacency comes with that." Mark Whelan, Group Executive Institutional, ANZ
 

Swati Dave

 

What is the long-term view? That is something you don’t see boards talking about." Swati Dave, Chief Executive Officer, Export Finance and Insurance Corporation & Board Member, Asia Society Australia

Steve Holmes

 

"China is a great opportunity because it is a diversification (for investors) but it is still hard to access this." Steve Holmes, CFA Senior Portfolio Manager and Research Strategist, Queensland Investment Corporation

Martin Tricaud

 

"There’s no doubt that for Australian exporters, the future is in China." Martin Tricaud, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Australia
 

Ed Johnson

 

MODERATOR Ed Johnson, Managing Editor, Australia and New Zealand, Bloomberg News

 

More insights and analysis on Australia's slow uptake of Asia at Asia Briefing #11 | Asia Briefing LIVE Special Edition


A word from the PM:

Trump and Aus

Prime Minister The Hon. Scott Morrison MP delivered his first foreign policy address at Asia Briefing LIVE. The PM acknowledged the growing challenge in navigating relationships with both the US and China, but was confident that Australia could get on with "business as usual". 

Morrison outlined that Australia's foreign policy priority is not China, but the Pacific, because “this is where we live.” He opted for more infrastructure development like the Papua New Guinea/Solomon Islands internet cable taken over from Chinese construction and closer work with Pacific countries on climate change and disaster recovery. The PM detailed how Australia would work with China in the Pacific in an effort to avoid upsetting the improvement in bilateral relations which now seems underway. 

ScoMo

“We support the strongest possible US political, security, and economic engagement in the Indo-Pacific...but it is important that US-China relations do not become defined by confrontation.” The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister of Australia

More insights from the PM at Asia Briefing #11 | Asia Briefing LIVE Special Edition

Read the full speech here >>


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