Australia Under-represented at Major Asian Forum, by Charles Qin

Australia Under-represented at Major Asian Forum, by Charles Qin from Chin Communications

By: Chin Communications  05-May-2011
Keywords: Chinese Interpreter, Chinese Translations, Chinese Interpreting

Having just returned from Boao, where I accompanied Trade Minister Dr Emerson as his Mandarin Interpreter, the talk centred on China’s currency and the rise of the BRICS bloc.  It was the 10 Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Forum which has become the “Davos” of our region. Yet Australia appeared greatly under-represented at this major meeting of world opinion leaders.

Australia seems to be facing increasing marginalisation, with BRICS countries now all the rage. President Hu referred to BRICS, as “a new model of global economic cooperation and an important practice of multilateralism.” China already has Currency Trade Agreements in place with ASEAN (now China’s fourth largest trading partner) and even New Zealand has signed one recently. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also signed an agreement to use their own currencies instead of the US dollar in issuing credit or grants to each other and is the first of its kind in financial cooperation between the BRICS countries.

In leaving the USA out in the cold, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, summed up the BRICS ideals: “Russia’s future, the modernisation of our Siberia and the Far East are inseparably connected with the Asia-Pacific region,” the Russian president told the Forum.  Analysts say the BRICS grouping of the world’s major emerging economies seeks to promote itself as a counterweight to established Western powers and raise the global influence of developing nations.

President Hu in his keynote address reminded us that over the past decade, China imported US$687 billion of goods on average every year, creating over 14 million jobs in related countries and regions. This showed that the better China developed, the greater the contribution it would make to the world.

Meanwhile Australia may struggle for a seat at the table – FTA talks have stalled, and PM Gillard on her East Asian tour has left China till last and lavished praise on Japan and Korea. As John Garnaut reminds us in today’s Age – last year Australia exported $58 billion in goods and services (up 37% on the previous year) to China compared to $20.4 billion to Korea and $55 billion to Japan. He concludes that “The PM may have got off on the wrong foot”. We’ll be watching with great interest.

Keywords: Chinese Interpreter, Chinese Interpreting, Chinese Translations

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