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COVID-19 will have a profound impact on Australia’s economy and the region that we live in. While the Australian and the global economy were already slowing before the beginning of this year, it seems clear that we are headed for a period of economic growth below our long-term trend.
Australia will have to look for new sources of growth if future generations are going to enjoy the standard of living that we have become accustomed to. Asia presents an attractive option, but to succeed we will have to tackle some difficult reform issues at home and we must lift our economic engagement in Asia.
By any measure, Australia has managed the pandemic well. Australia will emerge from it with an enhanced reputation as a reliable partner with strong governance systems and clean, green, safe products.
As one of the few developed economies in our region, we are well placed to help other countries prosper in the coming decades. A prosperous Asia will be good for the region’s people, but it is also good for our economic and security interests.