A free trade agreement with countries across Northeast Asia will give the Australian finance, science and engineering sectors a central role in regional infrastructure projects and a massive boost economically, according to Monash University's Dr Remy Davison.
Dr Davison was the only Australian and one of just five academic representatives in the Asia Pacific Region invited to address the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) - an international organisation established by the governments of the Republic of Korea, China and Japan - as well as Trade Ministers and business representatives on free trade in the Northeast Asian region in September.
The Jean Monnet Chair in Politics & Economics at Monash spoke on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade initiative of the Chinese Government. The RCEP is a proposed free trade agreement comprising 16 countries - including the 10 ASEAN nations, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
"The rationale of the TCS is based upon forging closer economic cooperation and, ultimately, a free trade agreement between the major Northeast Asian economies. This has significant implications for Australia as we have concluded free trade agreements with each of these countries," Dr Davison said.
"As Asia is the fastest growing region in the world, as well as the apex of the global supply chain, its closer integration can only benefit Australian trade, business and investment. Through its membership of the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank and the Trilateral Partnership (with Japan and the USA), Australian finance, engineering and science will play a much more significant role in regional infrastructure projects."
Dr Davison is an academic expert, widely published author and has given evidence at Parliamentary inquiries into Australia's free trade agreements. His most recent book 'The New Global Politics of the Asia-Pacific: Conflict and Cooperation in the Asian Century' was published in 2018.
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