On 4 April 2013 the Australian Federal Government released the Implementation Planfor the ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ White Paper (Plan). The wide-reaching Asian Century White Paper, released on 28 October 2012, set 25 objectives for Australia to achieve by 2025.

The Plan establishes the governance structures the Government will put in place to achieve the White Paper’s objectives, as well as reporting on progress already made toward these objectives such as the introduction in November 2012 of the “significant investor visa” to attract high net worth individuals willing to invest at least $5 million.

Features of the governance arrangements outlined in the Plan include:

  • The Australia in the Asian Century Committee of Cabinet, which oversaw development of the White Paper, will be responsible for oversight of the White Paper’s implementation.
  • The Strategic Advisory Board on the Asian Century, originally established to advise on the preparation of the White paper, will continue to provide advice to the Government and promote engagement with the broader community. The existing board members will be joined by three new appointees, including Leighton chief executive Hamish Tyrwhitt as chair of the board.
  • The responsibility for the day-to-day implementation of the White Paper will rest with existing Ministers and agencies with Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy Dr Craig Emerson overseeing collaboration between these portfolios.
  • Other engagement with the business community will come through existing forums such as the Government’s Business Advisory Forum and the National Panel for Economic Reform.

The Plan also announced the development of individual country strategies for engagement with Australia’s top five regional partners – Japan, China, Indonesia, India and South Korea. The Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Bob Carr has invited public submissions and comments on these individual country strategies through DFAT.

The deadline for submissions to DFAT is 31 May 2013.3