With the economic power of the world set to shift to the Asia-Pacific region the Griffith Asia Institute is launching a new strategic research program to help Australia make the most of the change.

The Asia-Pacific Business Economic (APBE) Strategic Research program will explore and address important issues relating to international investment, trade, demography and macroeconomic policy in the region.

APBE program co-ordinator Professor Tony Makin said the new program would help ensure Australia continued to enjoy a strong economic relationship with the Asia-Pacific region both now and as power shifted.

“This century economic power will inevitably shift from the Atlantic region to the Pacific region and Asia-Pacific economies will become even more important to Australian economy,” Professor Makin said.

“Asia-Pacific economies account for more than half of the world’s production of goods and services and nearly half of international trade. Nearly 70 percent of Australia’s own international trade is with Asia-Pacific economies.”

Australia needs a sound knowledge of Asia-Pacific economic issues to meaningfully interpret the business environment and public policy formulation, said Professor Makin.

“The research program aims to become a leading centre conducting vital, policy-relevant research on Asia-Pacific economies and provide a source for updates on the state of the region,” Professor Makin said.

The launch of the new research program will be made at a Griffith Asia Institute symposium on Wednesday, November 21 at the Ship Inn, Griffith’s South Bank campus, from 5.15pm.

The guest speaker will be well known international trade policy expert and Chair of the National APEC Studies Centre at Monash University, Alan Oxley, who will address the theme, ‘Climate Change Policy and Australia’s Asian Pacific Destiny — Protecting the Future’.