An Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Study Centre has been launched at Griffith University.

Professor of Economics Tony Makin is the inaugural director of the new centre which is part of the Griffith Asia Institute and which joins a network of centres established across the Asia-Pacific region following a decision by APEC leaders in 1993.

Researchers based at the new centre will study and analyse economic and political trends in APEC economies with an emphasis on cross-border linkages.

“Research will focus on APEC-related issues of ongoing relevance across economics, international business and international relations,” Professor Makin said.

“Through this research the centre will produce socially relevant knowledge contributing to regional cooperation and economic development.”

Professor Makin highlighted topics like international trade and investment, regional economic growth, the rise of China, demographic change and population growth, commodity prices and links to international bodies such as the IMF, World Bank and Pacific Economic Co-operation Council at the launch of the new centre at Griffith’s Nathan campus.

“We also have plans to run workshops for a ‘downtown audience’ with an interest in Asia Pacific economic issues, in this way connecting the centre with the wider community.”

In addition, the APEC Study Centre will explore opportunities for providing capacity-building programs through short-term academic-based training for government officials and policy makers to build APEC-relevant skills and knowledge.

It will also play host to high level public forums and lectures on latest developments and trends on APEC issues and activities.

John Larkin, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) Professor Michael Powell, Director of the Griffith Asia Institute Professor Andrew O’Neil and John McCarthy, Chair of the Griffith Asia Institute Advisory Council attended the centre launch.

“One of the great strengths of APEC is it brings together academic experts, regulators and policy makers,” Mr Larkin said. “The future prosperity of the region is not pre-determined and requires a commitment by governments in the region to maintain openness. APEC is at the centre of this dynamic with its capacity to facilitate collaboration and focus on cross-border education.”

Professor O’Neil highlighted the role of APEC in the build-up to the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane, pointing to a range of APEC-related issues that converge with the G20 agenda.

The launch was also attended by high-level Indonesian delegates in Brisbane for an Australia-Indonesia Dialogue workshop hosted by the Griffith Asia Institute.

Griffith University has launched a suite of initiatives under its three-year ‘New Griffith 2013-2016’ program, signifying an intensive period of change and innovation. Further information on the Griffith APEC Study Centre is available here.