Labor’s FutureAsia plan to deepen Asian engagement

Today Labor has confirmed its commitments to be delivered under the FutureAsia strategy.

A Shorten Labor Government will lead a step change in Australia’s attitude to drive a whole of nation effort to deepen and broaden Australia’s engagement with Asia.

This follows years of policy drift from the Liberal Party and a failure to come up with a comprehensive Asian engagement strategy or initiatives.

Engagement with Asia requires more than words. It requires a commitment to working across government with business, the education sector, industry and community to deepen our ties and to improve Australia’s Asia capability.

Labor will implement a comprehensive suite of measures to deliver the FutureAsia plan.

Whether it’s improving Asian literacy and cultural understanding through school curriculums, developing economic strategies with our neighbouring Asian countries, or conducting annual missions to our most important Asian trade partner countries, Labor has mapped out a detailed plan that will deliver real outcomes to improve our relationships with the region. 

The range of detailed measures in the FutureAsia plan will contribute to the major objectives:

  • Building Asia relevant capabilities, particularly in our school system. 
  • Forging deeper economic partnerships with our neighbours.
  • Building Australia’s Asia relevant business capabilities and growing our exports.
  • Enhancing Australia’s diplomatic footprint in our region.
  • Building cultural understanding and exchange.

A Shorten Labor Government will ensure we are delivering on our commitments by providing annual updates to the Parliament.

Key FutureAsia policy initiatives include:

  • A nationwide Asia Capable Schools program that will support 5,000 principals understand the economic forces occurring in our region and what kind of future workforce businesses will need.
  • A new Australia-based Asian diaspora program.
  • Restoring the Liberals’ cuts to the Asia Education Foundation.
  • Establishing an Australia-ASEAN Studies Centre.
  • Improving economic and trade links through regular Asia-Pacific Finance Ministers meetings and 2+2 Australia-Indonesia Finance and Trade Ministers meetings.
  • Working with the Australian Institute of Company Directors to enhance Australian directors’ Asian capability skills.
  • Establishing four new diplomatic posts in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Providing $15 million to strengthen Australia’s arts and music engagement in Asia.

Only Labor will deliver a strategy to deliver the best outcomes with our neighbouring Asian countries, building relationships based on mutual understanding and respect to realise the greatest benefits for Australia and for the region.

Our FutureAsia Plan is available here. 

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