Whatever the maps and geography teachers might say, Australia, certainly in the football sense, is now part of Asia but what does that mean for business?
While the move by Football Federation Australia to leave Oceania and position of dominance in the region to become part of Asia and perhaps a position of uncertainty was met with scepticism by some and wariness by others.
Firms must have a clear strategy regarding Asia, which includes Australia, to remain relevant on the global stage, writes Dr Stephen Moss.
Over the next five years Asia is likely to grow at more than two times the pace of the developed world. The implications of Asia’s growth will see a fundamental long-term shift in the global economy.
Over the next 20 years, Asia will likely become the most dominant economic region in the world. To ignore Asia as part of your international strategy is to risk not being a part of the growth and development of the next decades.
According to Dr Stephen Moss is an adviser to the legal services sector and chairman of Eaton Capital Partners, he also sits on the board of a number of other professional services firms in the region.
“Hong Kong and Singapore have long been destinations for international firms looking to follow their clients into Asia, so much so that the domestic markets of both countries now have highly saturated legal markets with over 130 and 150 registered foreign firms respectively”.
“Australia is no longer in the grip of the resources boom. The dollar has stabilised to a more realistic level against the US dollar and it remains a well understood regulatory and tax environment with a relatively strong economy. Since the GFC, Australia’s GDP has grown by 18 per cent and China’s FDI into Australia continues to steadily grow”.
Australia’s economic stability is coupled with its increasing political and social influence in Asia. Former Australian prime ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating were instrumental in the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum last century.
Australia, once seen through post-colonial eyes as geographically part of Asia but culturally more aligned to Europe, is now ensconced as an integral part of Asia’s growing economic and political might. Those who see xenophobia a way to win cheap votes in Australian domestic politics will not be able to get far when it comes to developing a sustainable foreign policy with Asia, especially ASEAN.
Malaysia has of late enjoyed a close relationship with Australia as can be seen by the recent statistics which sees more Australian firms setting up in the country in a wide range of industries.
The Malaysia Global Business Forum will continue to facilitate the relationships that will grow trade and investments between Malaysia and Australia. This could be on the federal government level, state government, trade associations or on a company by company basis.