The presentation will look at economic growth in Asia and the Pacific and the increasing prominence of this region’s contribution to world growth. Evidence to date is that the sentiment about this being the ‘Asian Century’ rings true, yet there are risks as well. The most immediate risk is increasing trade tensions. There are also structural factors that are moderating growth prospects. In the Pacific, natural disasters cause human devastation, and small Pacific economies struggle to recover economically and fiscally. With the Pacific at the front line of climate change, the intensity and frequency of disasters will get worse – and so will the consequences. Despite these headwinds, there are opportunities as well. Tourism is one such bright spot: the Pacific has many natural wonders which many find appealing. To capture the benefits of tourism, policy settings and investments in infrastructure and people are needed.
Mr Takehiko Nakao, President, Asian Development Bank
Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor, The ANU