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  • Author: Mike Callaghan
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: It is important that the Brisbane G20 Leaders' Summit be a success. It must help 'reenergise' the G20, because the world needs an effective G20. But there is more at stake for Australia. If the G20 is not effective, any alternative forum for international economic cooperation would likely exclude Australia.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, International Cooperation, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Australia
  • Author: Hugh White
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The Air Warfare Destroyer [AWD] project is Australia's biggest proposed defence acquisition in decades. Cabinet has already chosen a company to build the ships. But before minsters go further and sign contracts, they should stop and ask two big questions which have not so far been properly considered. First, would AWDs do enough for Australia's defence to justify their cost, and what would we need to sacrifice to afford them? Second, are we buying them the right way? There are good reasons to think that the answer to both questions is no. The AWD's main purpose is to provide air defence for ADF amphibious operations in medium- to high-level conflicts. But such operations would not be a high priority for Australia. The forces we could deploy are small, and the risks they would face, even with AWDs, are daunting. And if it was necessary, amphibious operations could be better protected for air attack by proactive counter-air campaigns or fighter escorts. For coalition operations, AWDs would only add another option to a wide range of highly capable contributions we can already make, including submarines, maritime patrol aircraft, AEW and fighters. And AWDs would be marginal to any future development of ballistic missile defences for Australia. So AWDs would provide few important new military options. But their high price imposes big opportunity costs in the already-squeezed defence investment program. Unless Defence funding rises sharply, we can afford them only by cutting other major capabilities. The most likely trade-off is the JSF project; cutting that would have serious strategic costs. So ministers should not commit to buying the AWDs before they have reviewed the Defence Capability Plan as a whole to see the full implications for the ADF's overall capability. If ministers nonetheless decide to buy AWDs, they should look very carefully at how the project is being developed and managed. As they did with Navy's troubled Collins submarines and Seasprite helicopters, Defence is setting unique Australian requirements that will unnecessarily add to the cost and risk of the project. And they are experimenting with a new acquisition strategy that provides less competition and leaves more of the risk of the project in Defence's hands. A simpler and more competitive acquisition strategy would provide better value for money. The simplest and cheapest of all would be to buy overseas. There is no compelling strategic reason to buy AWDs, and even less to build them in Australia.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Australia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Michael Fullilove, ChloĆ« Flutter
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: On any given day, there are approximately one million Australians outside Australia, perhaps three-quarters of whom live offshore on a permanent or long term basis. This latter group, the 'Australian diaspora', is large and, in the main, prosperous, well educated, well connected, and well disposed to this country. It is also very mobile: rather than turning their backs on Australia once and for all, expatriates these days are more likely to move back and forward between Australia and other countries as opportunities present.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Demographics, Economics
  • Political Geography: Australia, Australia/Pacific
  • Author: Mark P Thirlwell
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: The Indian economy is showing clear signs of realising its dormant potential. The impact of more than a decade of economic reforms, instigated by a 1991 balance of payments crisis, has now removed or at least mitigated some of the major economic distortions that have handicapped past economic performance. One important result has been a significant boost to the economy's overall potential growth rate. Another has been India's re-engagement with the global economy, which in turn has transformed the prospects of key sectors of the Indian economy. This transformation has been most visible in the case of information technology-related services exports, where India has already become an important global player. But there are also positive signs in the areas of merchandise trade and international capital flows. These trends will have important consequences for the international economy as a whole and for Australia in particular.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization
  • Political Geography: India, East Asia, Asia, Australia