| 19.11,11. 02:54 AM |
Julia Gillard arrives in Bali
November 19, 2011
JULIA Gillard has urged Asian leaders not to withdraw into economic protectionism claiming the economic history of the 21st century would be written in this region.
Warning that the global financial crisis was not over, the Prime Minister said the Asia Pacific should not wait for the rest of the world to move on free trade and economic openness, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Delivering her first keynote speech to business leaders in Bali ahead of security talks at the East Asia Summit, Mr Gillard said the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership being driven by Australia, the US, Japan and South Korea had the potential to be a larger economic zone than Europe.
"But only if we avoid becoming mired in the quibbling and controversy that has beset Doha," Ms Gillard said.
"Now it’s time for TPP supporters to make this Agreement a reality, translating the consensus and goodwill of last week into a concrete deal next year."
"As governments and as businesses we must not respond to uncertainty by closing markets or turning away from reform."
Hailing the East Asia summit as a turning point for the region as European leaders struggled to find agreement on a rescue plan for the Eurozone, Ms Gillard urged Asian leaders over the coming days to find agreement on a new economic collaboration in the Asia Pacific.
With the inclusion of the US and Russia for the first time in the EAS, Australia would be at the centre of a new economic world order.
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As a white paper is being developed by former Treasury secretary Ken Henry, on Australia's future in the region, the PM made some of her strongest remarks yet that Australia's northern hemisphere ties of the past had been unshackled.
"...for my nation, these have been remarkable years of learning and engagement," Ms Gillard said.
"Years in which we came – not always easily – to see our place in Asia as a source of strength.
"It is true we come from many cultures; many different histories; many political traditions.
"But our objective is the same: to strengthen and deepen our economic, political and security cooperation across the Asian region.
"A defining moment for our region as the United States and Russia join the East Asia Summit for the first time in its short history.
"It is defining because it acknowledges the global significance of our region.
"Because it acknowledges the shift in economic power to the East is not a temporary phase but a long-term development of lasting significance to the whole global community.
"This is truly the ‘Asian Century’.
"And by Asia, we don’t just mean China and India – but the whole of Asia.
"This is a favoured region at the best time in its history."