Sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific involves challenges distinct to the region and Griffith University has released a comprehensive report providing new insights and actionable pathways for economic prosperity.

The Griffith Asia Pacific Strategic Outlook 2024 (GAPSO) report analyses challenges and presents opportunities for economic potential in the region which is projected to contribute to 60 per cent of global GDP growth in 2024.

Due to its diverse economies, cultures and landscapes, the Asia-Pacific region faces a range of challenges unlike any other sector, and is affected by shifting geopolitical risks, climate change and a complex web of interconnected issues.

Griffith Asia Institute (GAI) Director Professor Christoph Nedopil.

Griffith Asia Institute (GAI) Director Professor Christoph Nedopil said 24 researchers collaborated closely with regional institutions such as Asia Development Bank Institute (ADBI), National University of Singapore (NUS) and Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) to produce the collection of policy briefs.

“Challenges such as climate change, democratic resilience and equitable development are pressing issues for policy makers, leaders and businesses who must prepare for sustainable development and prosperity in the region,” Professor Nedopil said.

“Practical recommendations include suggestions such as expansion of sports and culture diplomacy which would build familiarity of different cultures to a broad overseas audience and build trust in and outside of the region.

“Though trust in China varies in the region, the country is poised to become economically and politically more powerful in the years to come.

“The report suggests greater insight and understanding of its motivations will be core to strategic development.

“Trust between nations and within nations has deteriorated over the past decade and it is crucial to expand discussion and cooperation.

“There is huge potential for countries in the region to cooperate and focus scarce resources on shared issues such as climate protection and economic development to generate positive development.”

Four core recommended actions to accelerate Asia-Pacific leadership in sustainable development include:

    • Expand green economy through technology and finance
    • Use digitalisation for inclusive development and technological leapfrogging
    • Foster fair, open and sustainable trade creating opportunities for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) and multinational enterprises (MNE).
    • Climate change and biodiversity loss
    • Peaceful co-existence
    • Democratic resilience
    • Food security
    • Ensure knowledge on China is up-to-date
    • Strengthen research collaboration with Chinese partners
    • Strengthen research collaboration with non-Chinese partners on China to share experiences
    • Build trust foundations through spaces of respectful discussions and interaction, such as through universities, culture and sport
    • Build joint knowledge foundations by fostering research collaborations
Griffith Asia Institute Deputy Director Associate Professor Gloria Ge.

GAI Deputy Director and report co-editor Associate Professor Gloria Ge said Australia is an essential economy within Asia Pacific, and among the richest.

“Australia has strong cultural, economic, and security ties to traditional Western powers and is in a unique position to be the pillar of trust, consensus and democracy in the region,” Associate Professor Ge said.

“With significant influence in the region and globally, Australia can foster joint research through our world leading universities, in areas of shared interest such as climate, food, biodiversity and democratic resilience.

“Though Australia’s economy currently undermines global green growth targets, as well as its credibility as a partner for Pacific islands fighting against rising sea levels from climate change, the GAPSO report provides recommendations for Australia to harness significant opportunities in green growth.”

Griffith Asia Institute and the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) invite you to join a panel discussion exploring avenues for sustainable development throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Event details:

In person: 5:30 pm, 9 April 2024 at Holding Redlich, Level 1, 300 Queen Street, Brisbane, 4000
Queensland, Australia

Online: 6 pm, 9 April 2024

Cost:  $10 non-members/ $5 student non-members

Register for the panel event here.

1: No Poverty
UN Sustainable Development Goals 1: No Poverty

10: Reduced Inequalities
UN Sustainable Development Goals 10: Reduced Inequalities

11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
UN Sustainable Development Goals 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

12: Responsible Consumption and Production
UN Sustainable Development Goals 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

13: Climate Action
UN Sustainable Development Goals 13: Climate Action

16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
UN Sustainable Development Goals 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions