PricewaterhouseCoopers Melbourne Institute Asialink Index, first issue launched in 2008.
Since the publication of the first Index in 2008, China has become the second largest economy in the world and our largest export market, and the Global Financial Crisis has gutted growth in many of the developed Western economies.
Our overall engagement with Asia has grown by 8 per cent, whereas engagement with the rest of the world has slumped by 13 per cent. Asia is driving Australia’s economic prosperity, and that reality is made all the more clear in this year’s Index by the remarkable 53.5 per cent year-on-year growth in our engagement with China.
However, Australia’s Asia story is about more than buying from and selling to China. Trade with ASEAN is up by 8.8 per cent, buoyed by a 14 per cent rise in trade with Indonesia. Our engagement with the diverse countries of Asia is also underpinned by strong people-to-people links, engendered through migration, education, tourism, research and humanitarian assistance.
In that vein, the fact that our education engagement with Asia fell in 2011, for the first time since the Asian Financial Crisis, should be cause for ongoing vigilance.
We are pleased to bring together PwC, the Melbourne Institute and Asialink to construct this important tool, and will continue to provide the PwC Melbourne Institute Asialink Index to meet the needs of policy makers, businesspeople, academics and the general public alike in understanding Australia’s relationship with Asia.