Short posts from Lowy Institute experts on what they regard as the most important international policy issue of this campaign. See the Election Interpreter 2013 archive for the whole series.

Among the many international challenges, few are more important — or harder to achieve — than turning the high-minded intent of the Asian Century White Paper into operational policy. What about a small permanent task force which:

  • Pushes DFAT to get us more involved in regional arrangements.
  • Masterminds twinning arrangements between government departments and their Asian counterparts.
  • Reminds politicians that their vote-seeking sound-bites and quick-fix decision will often be misread by sensitive neighbours.
  • Persuades AusAID that its mandate goes beyond poverty alleviation and gender issues.
  • Coordinates the huge but dispersed Asia resources in our universities.
  • Oversees Asian language learning in schools.
  • Fosters more and better regional reporting in domestic media.
  • Urges Australian business to look beyond the short-term bottom-line when considering Asian ventures.