POST 36: AN IDEAL TIME FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA TO FORGE STRONGER TRADE RELATIONSHIPS WITH CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE.

Introduction

Now is the perfect time for Western Australia to forge stronger economic and migration ties with growing democracies in Central and Eastern Europe. Over the past 25 years, the region has witnessed one of the most dramatic spurts of economic growth (See Figure 1 below).[1]  The region has achieved tremendous economic gains by lifting the income per capita from $3,500 in 1995 to nearly $16,000 US dollars in 2018 (a rise of 346%).[2]

It would be of great benefit to Western Australia for the Federal Government to finalise the EU-Australia Trade Agreement. Providing opportunity for expansion of trade relations between Western Australia and Central Europe.[3]

Figure 1 Central and Eastern Europe, GDP Per capita (1995-2018)

(Source, The World Bank, 2020.[4])

Issues with the Asia Pacific Region instability.

Since settlement, Australia has predominantly relied on trade, migration and cultural exchange with Europe. Our cultural similarities have been integral to social cohesion and growing a healthy country and economy. In the past 15 years Australian and Western Australian Government’s have taken a radically different policy direction. Trade, migration and cultural routes have turned to the Asia Pacific Region. But this region is not a reliable economic market and is politically unstable.

The Asia Pacific Region also present significant public health challenges to Australia’s advanced economy, for example, the Chinese Communist Party’s  (CCP) mishandling of the COVID-19 outbreak, a global catastrophe of a historic scale.[5]

Researchers at the University of Southampton estimated if the CCP had conducted Covid-19 interventions three weeks earlier – cases could have been reduced by 95 percent.  As of  21 June 2020 there where 8.793 million Wuhan coronavirus cases confirmed and 464,491 deaths.[6]

Even after the CCP do all this damage to the Australian economy and the rest of the world – they continue on a destructive economic path. Putting Australian farmers in jeopardy with an 80% tariff on barley exports.[7]

Conclusion.

The McGowan Government’s reliance on China for exports is now beginning to look fragile by the day; the CCP is WA’s highest export market ($96.1 billion in 2019).[8]

Australia also has to deal with a really serious issue of cyber attacks.  Political and private-sector organisations in Australia have recently come under cyber-attacks carried out by a “sophisticated state-based cyber-actor”. These kind of attacks have the potential to bring down critical Australian infrastructure such as power supplies.[9] There are several reports, which claim the “sophisticated state-based cyber-actor” is linked to the CCP.

References.


[1] Shaun Walker, ‘“This Is the Golden Age”: Eastern Europe’s Extraordinary 30-Year Revival’, The Guardian, 26 October 2019, section World news <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/26/this-is-the-golden-age-eastern-europes-extraordinary-30-year-revival> [accessed 2 April 2020].

[2] The World Bank, ‘Central Europe and the Baltics | Data’ <https://data.worldbank.org/region/central-europe-and-the-baltics> [accessed 21 June 2020].

[3] Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ‘Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement Fact Sheet | DFAT’, 2020 <https://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/agreements/negotiations/aeufta/Pages/australia-european-union-fta-fact-sheet> [accessed 20 June 2020].

[4] The World Bank.

[5] Matthew Henderson, Dr Alan Mendoza, Dr Andrew Foxall, James Rogers, and Sam Armstrong, ‘Compensation for Coronavirus?’, Henry Jackson Society, 2020 <https://henryjacksonsociety.org/publications/coronaviruscompensation/> [accessed 7 April 2020].

[6] John Hopkins Univerity, ‘COVID-19 Map’, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, 2020 <https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html> [accessed 6 April 2020].

[7] Eliza Borrello, ‘Our Farmers Are Scanning the Horizon for the next Hit as China’s “wolf Warriors” Take Control’, 2020 <https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-22/coronavirus-tensions-leave-farmers-fearing-more-china-tariffs/12274044> [accessed 20 June 2020].

[8] Government of Western Australia, Department of Jobs, Toursim and Science Innovation, ‘Western Australian Economic Profile, May 2020’, 2020 < [accessed 20 June 20″>https://www.jtsi.wa.gov.au/about-the-state/quality-of-life/economy&gt; [accessed 20 June 2020].

[9] Daniel Hurst, ‘Cyber-Attack Australia: Sophisticated Attacks from “State-Based Actor”, PM Says’, The Guardian, 19 June 2020, section Australia news <https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jun/19/australia-cyber-attack-attacks-hack-state-based-actor-says-australian-prime-minister-scott-morrison> [accessed 20 June 2020].

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