The importance of growing in Asia

| April 30, 2014

The signing of a deal between the ABC and the SMG (Shanghai Media Group) to broadcast content in China has been postponed. Laurence Strano from the Australia Vietnam Business Council stresses the important role of the Australia Network in strengthening our contact with Asia.

Australia needs to do more, not less in Asia. To threaten to drop the Australian Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, the ABC’s Australia Network or in any way to reduce our involvement in Asia is to damage the potential for Australia to expand in Asia and thereby impact badly on our future.

China’s population is forecast by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to increase from 1,354m to 1,394.9m in 2018, and Hugh Morgan was thus correct when he stated “we cannot waste our golden ticket to China” with reference to the importance of further accessing China through the Australia Network of the ABC (Financial Review, 28 April 2014).We really have to praise the ABC initiatives, including those of Radio Australia.

We need to strongly endorse the important future role of the Australia Network and the ABC. We suggest it should look to further access the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

There are wonderful opportunities for access to contents, programming, and creating huge archives, internet TV and access. Advertising to ASEAN’s 615.6 million people for example is an amazing opportunity.

By 2018 the IMF estimates world population will grow by 6% to 7,450million and ASEAN’s by 9%. Vietnam’s 90.39 million people comprise 14.7% of ASEAN and by 2018 are forecast to grow to 97 million. We have to expand our contacts in this important region.

Hopefully the Federal Government thus realises the important role of the ABC’s international channel, the Australia Network, and the need for expansion in Asia and especially in ASEAN.

Additionally we hope soft power is to be more important than hard power as we have to build better communication, understanding and goodwill.

The New Colombo Plan initiatives whereby more Australian students will go into Asia are a good initiative, but this could be expanded significantly for example by extending the Export Market Development Grant scheme to increase incentives to take more students into Asia.