Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has reminded Western Europe that security must still sometimes be guaranteed by the gun. Despite occasional glimpses of the old passivity, aid of the lethal and non-lethal variety is flowing freely to Kyiv. The European Union’s belated
Australia’s relationships with countries in Southeast Asia are not bad. The prime minister or foreign minister could happily turn up in any regional country and receive a warm welcome. Last year, Australia signed a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Hey big spender
The first loans under the Morrison government’s new program to support the production of critical minerals provides another insight into just how central the relatively low-profile Export Finance Australia has become to dealing with Chinese economic influence.
Trade Minister Dan
El Salvador ranks only 89th on the latest index of cryptocurrency adoption around the world, but it may be at the frontline of one of the fascinating global financial questions this year. Will it be nervous investors or nervous financial regulators that play the key role in
The promise was pain. Anger China, so warned Beijing’s “wolf warrior” diplomats, and Australia’s economy would suffer. But for all the threats, tariffs and embargoes, Roland Rajah found the bark had resulted in only a small bite.
That doesn’t mean that China’s trade sanctions haven’t
These Birks were made for walkin’
In the end it seems, like politics, all trade is local. It has been a big year for reshoring, diversification, logistics log jams and, as Joe Biden memorably told his voters, “something called supply chains”.
And all that has filled plenty of media and
When the Pandora Papers were published last month, few registered their significance for Australian statecraft. Spanning 11.9 million leaked documents, and exposing the property empires and shell companies of kings, presidents and celebrities, the revelations generated scandals and condemnation. But
China has singled out several Australian industries with economic sanctions since May last year, imposing hefty tariffs on Australian barley and wine exports, while throwing up barriers to other products including timber, lobster and coal. Beijing’s action has largely been seen as a response to
The reality of living in a pandemic has dawned on Australia. Covid cases at the time of writing are high and still climbing. The virus is here to stay. Equally clear is that ring-fencing the country from the world — the ‘Fortress Australia’ policy — is no longer viable
The most important foreign policy speech by a cabinet minister so far this year was delivered last Monday. That Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was the speaker was a little surprising. A little less surprising was that he identified an ascendant, muscular China as a first order threat to the country’s
Australia’s sovereign wealth fund – the Future Fund – was established 15 years ago when the rivers of gold from selling iron ore to China were just starting to flow and country was only about half-way through its record-setting 28 years of economic growth.
The Future Fund’s
RBA governor Philip Lowe makes a reasonable point about the short-term suppression of wages in some industries. But long-run evidence shows migration lifts demand for workers. Originally published in the Australian Financial Review
While Australian exporters were shocked by the pace and extent of China’s trade sanctions last year, it now appears that investors were more quietly making their own exit.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) annual country data released last month shows that Australian
It may not have been intended, but a map deep inside last week’s federal budget papers seems to sum up the Australian government’s economic diplomacy strategy: preparing for life after China.
While it is titled “top export destinations”, arrows zoom to all major trading
In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, Roland Rajah, Lowy Institute Lead Economist, sits down with Dr Ross Garnaut to discuss the ideas in his new book, Reset: Restoring Australia after the Pandemic Recession
First it was new carbon emission cuts, and then a global minimum corporate tax. But it is hard to beat the Biden administration’s move to shaft the pharmaceutical industry lobby over vaccine patents for putting the US back at the heart of global public policy.
The devil will be in
In much of the world, Covid-19 infections continue apace, but the global economy is rapidly recovering from last year’s slump. World trade volumes and industrial production were both higher in January than they have ever been, according to data collected by the Netherlands central bank. Releasing
Tax and spend
US President Joe Biden may be grabbing the global headlines by boosting world growth with his big spending and international security with his telephone diplomacy. But US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen seems to be doing the real heavy lifting in restoring American credibility in
Beginning last May, China has hit Australia with a barrage of trade sanctions in a fairly overt attempt at economic coercion. It’s still early days, but it’s worth taking stock of what the economic impact has been so far.
The fact that China’s trade sanctions have taken place
A welcome change is underway in the international effort to combat dangerous global warming. It will have big implications for the Australian economy.
The United States, European Union and China – the world’s three biggest emitters – are now all targeting net zero emissions by mid-century (
Food for thought
Picking winners and sacrificing national interests are two things that conservative politicians usually like to hold out as anathema.
But it says a lot about how the meltdown in relations with China is changing economic diplomacy that they are exactly what the federal
Hide and seek
It says a lot about the extent of the pandemic cash splash and the domestic politics of the federal budget that an unexpected rise in development aid spending didn’t even make the Treasurer’s speech.
Aid spending will rise about 4% this year, confounding expectations that this
In this episode of COVIDcast, Lowy Institute Research Fellow Alexandre Dayant sat down with Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz to discuss the prospect of global cooperation in a time of rising populism and international mistrust.
Going outOne of the big questions facing Australian companies in the new world of reshoring and diversification is how to get the balance right in a time of disruption and power shifts. The federal government and two recent independent reports have told business to invest more in Asia, against the
While Australia’s embrace of economic sovereignty has so far involved more rhetoric than real financial resources, cash incentives for reshoring manufacturing are gathering pace in other countries.
Last week’s €100 billion (A$162 billion) economic stimulus program from French
Although Melbourne’s secondary wave of coronavirus infection has been a significant setback, Australia’s economic recovery from the pandemic is well underway. We must now grapple, however, with the enduring aftermath of high and rising unemployment, a sharp increase in government debt, a
Taking one for the team
Spare a thought for Japanese company Kirin, which entered Australia in the vanguard of new ambitions for Asian economic engagement but is now a victim of an undeclared trade war with China.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s move to prevent Kirin selling its unsuccessful Lion
The Morrison government’s plan for defence spending outlined in the Defence Strategic Update last month has been incorporated into the Canberra consensus, with Labor offering no criticism and the mainstream press largely supportive. Yet as the government grapples with debt and deficit as the
Going out or staying in
With Australia experiencing its first recession in a generation, potential differences are emerging over whether future prosperity will come from more business integration with high-growth Asia or from preserving capital for economic sovereignty at home.
These, of course,
With European leaders having just spent five days in close-contact negotiations in Brussels and now Australia’s first offshore ministerial visit for almost five months to Washington, a post-Covid diplomatic agenda is tentatively taking shape.
Just what Covid 19 might
Costing the D word
Diversification might be the word of the moment in the lexicon of Australian trade debate, even though few advocates make much attempt to explain how it will actually work.
But now we have two interesting efforts to quantify just how selected reductions in trade with China in
Former Trump administration economic adviser Kevin Hassett had a backhanded compliment for Australia amid this week’s financial market turmoil when he described it as a closely watched proxy for the Chinese economy.
Complaining that Chinese data on the recovery from coronavirus
Clayton Christensen’s 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma provides a series of compelling examples of companies ignoring or dismissing the disruptive potential of immature technologies until it’s too late, only for their upstart competitors to consign them to the dustbin of
The discussion about China’s bid for baby-formula supplier Bellamy’s Organic shows the usual confusion about just what should guide decisions on foreign investment in Australia.
Of course there will be some proposals that are defence-strategic. But baby formula is not one of them. Nor is
If Australia’s senior international ministers were surprised by the sharpness of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s approach to economic dependence on China at the recent AUSMIN talks, they should have studied the US trade data the previous day.
A great divergence
Investment: smaller is bigger
There was a time when Asian investment in Australia was all about getting access to scarce resources and if Australia really punched above its weight in regional affairs, it was due to its lucky endowment of iron ore, coal and gas.
The debate about how we best exert
Deal or no deal
Global trade experts meeting in Australia this week have expressed some confidence that an interim deal will be reached by the end of the month.
As markets swoon amid the latest rumours about US-China trade negotiations, global trade experts meeting in Australia&
This week’s Economist magazine features Australia on the cover with the caption: “Aussie Rules: what Australia can teach the world”. Inside, the text is effusive: Australia is “the wonder down under”, “possibly the most successful rich country”.
How times (and predictions) change!
How does Australia’s economy align with those of our Asian neighbours? What are the development challenges facing nearby South East Asian countries? And just how large is China’s economy? These questions are of particular interest this week as the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit is held in Sydney