Leaders on Asia | A step change in our relationship with Asia

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen announces Future Asia policy at a major Asia Society Australia address

On 29 September, 2017 in Sydney, Shadow Treasurer The Hon Chris Bowen MP delivered a major address to Asia Society Australia in which he made a comprehensive case for re-energising and upgrading Australia's engagement with Asia. Mr Bowen also outlined the first set of initiatives of the Labour Party's Future Asia policy aimed at developing Australia's education and business capabilities to engage with Asia, and measures to build greater economic connectivity with the region.



The two pillars of the Future Asia policy are: Building Asia-relevant capabilities within Australian education system and business community and enhancing regional collaboration. The first initiatives announced by the Shadow Treasurer at the Asia Society address are:

Asia competencies:

  • Recommit to the policy goal of providing every Australian student with an opportunity to study an Asian language
  • Restore A$1.5 million in funding to the Asia Education Foundation
  • Allocate the funding of A$3 million to the Australian Institute of Company Directors to build Asia competencies at the board level of Australian companies
  • Establish a diaspora program, empowering Australia-Asia community and Australian diapora in Asia
  • Establish an Australia-ASEAN studies centre

Regional engagement:

  • Enable a separate forum of the Asia-Pacific finance ministers in advance of G20 Finance Ministers meeting
  • Establish annual formal meetings between Australian and Indonesian finance and trade minister
  • Remain open-minded towards China's One Belt One Road initiative, including possible collaborations in Northern Australia
  • Establish regular reporting by the Treasurer to Parliament on the progress of FutureAsia policy implementation

(Source:ALP, Australian Financial Review)

We thank our Global Corporate Partner - Bloomberg for co-hosting the event.


Sydney Morning Herald  - 'Australia being left behind by Asia, says Labor's Chris Bowen'

The Australian Financial Review - 'Labor reminds us the region is about more than China'

The Australian Financial Review - 'Labor plans joint ventures with China in Australia's north'

The Australian - 'Labor’s plan to work with China in north Australia ‘bizarre’

Crikey - 'Chris Bowen delivers the best speech on Asia since Keating'

SBS (Video) - 'Labor vows to ramp up ties with Asia'

Sky News - 'Labor 'open-minded' on China's Silk Road plan'

InnovationAus.com.au - 'Bowen’s landmark Asia pitch'

Our Leaders on Asia program presents high-profile events with visiting heads of state, ministers, senior officials, dignitaries and leading thinkers from the Indo-Pacific region and Australia. It provides members with a unique direct access to leaders who shape the present and future of our region.