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Banner of Structural change and the rise of Asia

Structural change and the Rise of Asia

Wednesday 19 September 2012
The Hyatt, Canberra

Jointly hosted by
the International Monetary Fund, Treasury and the Reserve Bank of Australia

Asia's rise is driving structural change in advanced economies, including Australia. This conference examined Asia's prospects, the structural changes that are occurring in advanced economies as a result of Asia's rise, and potential policy responses. All sessions during the day included Q&A sessions welcoming thoughts from attendees.

Event Photos



  • Welcome by Wayne Swan, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer
  • Introductory remarks by Dr Ken Henry, Chair, Australia in the Asian Century Taskforce

Session 1: Prospects for Asia

  • Dr Jayant Menon, Lead Economist (Trade and Regional Cooperation), Office of Regional Economic Integration, Asian Development Bank
  • Prof He Fan, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

This session provided context for the structural change in advanced economies that is resulting from Asia's rise by reflecting on likely scenarios for the Asian region and challenges that may need to be surmounted along the way.

Session 2: Implications of the rise of Asia

  • Prof Gordon Hanson, Director, Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies, University of California San Diego
  • Prof Anne Krueger, Professor of International Economics, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
  • Dr Christopher Kent, Assistant Governor (Economic), Reserve Bank of Australia
    (co-author: Dr Michael Plumb, Deputy Head of Economic Research Department, Reserve Bank of Australia and Mr James Bishop, Economist, Reserve Bank of Australia)

This session provided perspectives on the mechanisms by which Asia's rise is driving structural change in advanced economies and the impacts of this structural change. This session also discussed longer-term considerations about the evolving structures of advanced economies.

Session 3: How should policy respond?

  • Prof Philip R. Lane, Whately Professor of Political Economy of Trinity College Dublin, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
  • Prof Bob Gregory, Professor Emeritus, Australian National University and Adjunct Professorial Fellow, Victoria University (co‚ÄĎauthor: Prof Peter Sheehan, Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University)

This session discussed possible policy responses to structural change and the rise of Asia, from both an international and Australian perspective.

Session 4: Policy panel discussion

  • Moderator: Dr Michael Wesley.
  • Panellists: Prof Ross Garnaut, Prof He Fan, Dr Martin Parkinson and Dr Masahiko Takeda.

Speaker profiles

Dr Ken Henry AC was appointed as a Special Adviser to the Prime Minister in 2011 and is responsible for leading the development of a White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century. He is also Chair of the Institute of Public Policy at the Australian National University and is the chair or member of several other boards or advisory councils. Dr Henry was Secretary to the Treasury from 2001 to 2011. In his role as Treasury Secretary, Dr Henry also served as a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Board of Taxation, the Council of Financial Regulators and was Alternate Governor (for Australia) of the International Monetary Fund. He chaired the Review into Australia's Future Tax System in 2009-10.

Prof He Fan is Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He is the author or editor of 10 books and more than 80 papers, and his fields of interest include: international finance, Chinese macroeconomy, and international political economy. His recent work addresses issues like RMB exchange rate policy, China's foreign trade and investment policy, financial system reform as well as Asian monetary cooperation. He also works as a consultant to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Commerce and is deeply involved in many policy discussions.

Dr Jayant Menon is the Lead Economist (Trade and Regional Cooperation), Office of Regional Economic Integration at the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Prior to joining ADB, he was Senior Research Fellow at the Center of Policy Studies at Monash University from 1992 to 1999. He was also a Board Director of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute from 2001 to 2008. His recent research has focused on trade, regional integration and development challenges in the Asian region.

Prof Gordon Hanson is Director of the Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies at the University of California San Diego.He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and co-editor of the Review of Economics and Statistics. Professor Hanson specializes in the economics of international trade, international migration, and foreign direct investment. His current research examines the international migration of skilled labor, border enforcement and illegal immigration, the impact of imports from China on the US labor market, and the determinants of comparative advantage.

Prof Anne Krueger is Professor of International Economics at the School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Center for International Development and the Herald L. and Caroline Ritch Emeritus Professor of Sciences and Humanities in the Economics Department at Stanford University. Anne Krueger was previously First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (2001-06) and Vice President and Chief Economist at the World Bank (1982-86). She has published extensively on economic development, international trade and finance, and economic policy reform. In addition to her writings on these topics, she has written a number of books and articles on economic growth, international trade, and economic policy in India, South Korea, and Turkey.

Dr Christopher Kent is the Assistant Governor (Economic) at the Reserve Bank of Australia. In this role, he is responsible for the RBA's Economic Analysis and Economic Research Departments and is the chief economic advisor to the Governor and the Board. Prior to holding this role, Christopher worked as Head of Payments Policy Department and earlier as Head of Economic Research Department. He also spent two years with the International Monetary Fund working on the Italian desk. Christopher has authored numerous papers on the Australian economy and macroeconomic policy and edited a number of the RBA's annual Conference Volumes.

Dr Michael Plumb is Deputy Head of Economic Research Department at the Reserve Bank of Australia. He has also held senior positions in the RBA's Economic Analysis and International Departments. Prior to joining the RBA, Dr Plumb worked at the University of Sydney, the Economic and Social Research Council in Ireland, and the University of Oxford. He has published on a variety of topics relating to economic policy, including the labour market, inflation, exchange rates, asset price bubbles, and income distribution. Dr Plumb holds a DPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford, a MEc (Hons) in Economics/Econometrics and a BEc (Hons) from the University of Sydney.

Prof Philip R. Lane is Whately Professor of Political Economy at Trinity College Dublin and a research fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). He is also a managing editor of Economic Policy. His research interests include international macroeconomics, international finance and macroeconomic policy.

Prof Bob Gregory is Emeritus Professor at the Research School of Economics, Australian National University, and Adjunct Professorial Fellow at Victoria University. His research interests include macroeconomic performance, unemployment, wage inequality, international comparison of wages and employment, welfare reform and the labour market. Professor Gregory has also been closely involved in Australian economic policy development over several decades. He was a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia between 1985 and 1995.

Prof Peter Sheehan was director of the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University in Melbourne from 1993 to 2012, and is now director of research at the Centre. He has worked extensively in academia, government and business, and has produced over 100 publications. After academic work at Melbourne and Oxford Universities and at the Australian National University, he joined the Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne in 1972. He was Director-General of the Department of Management and Budget in the Victorian Government from 1982 until the early 1990s. His research interests include macroeconomics and the labour market, and specifically the impact of the current resources boom, as well as broader issues concerning the economics of innovation, clean technologies and health.

Dr Michael Wesley is the former Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Previously he was Professor of International Relations and Director of the Griffith Asia Institute at Griffith University. Prior to this, he was the Assistant Director-General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments, and a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of New South Wales. His most recent book is 'There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia'. His research interests include Australian foreign policy, Asia's international relations, energy security, intelligence and international institutions.

Dr Martin Parkinson PSM is Secretary to the Australian Treasury. As Secretary he is a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Australian Office of Financial Management, and a member of the Board of Taxation, Infrastructure Australia, Council of Financial Regulators and the Centre for International Finance and Regulation. Dr Parkinson previously served as Secretary of the Department of Climate Change from its establishment on 3 December 2007. Beginning in 2001, Dr Parkinson spent six years as Deputy Secretary in Treasury with responsibility for domestic and international macroeconomic issues. He has previously worked at the International Monetary Fund and in the early 1990s served as Senior Adviser to Treasurer Dawkins. Since joining Treasury in 1980 he has also worked in a range of areas including taxation policy, labour market and structural reform, and macroeconomic policy and forecasting.

Prof Ross Garnaut is a Vice-Chancellor's Fellow and a Professorial Fellow in Economics at the University of Melbourne as well as a Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University. Professor Garnaut is the author of numerous books, monographs and articles on international economics, public finance and economic development, particularly in relation to East Asia and the Southwest Pacific. He served as the Australian Ambassador to China (1985 to 1988) and is a board member for several international research institutions, including Asialink, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (Jakarta) and the China Centre for Economic Research at Peking University.

Mr. Masahiko Takeda is Deputy Director in the Asia and Pacific Department of the International Monetary Fund. Before joining the IMF, he was at the Bank of Japan from 1981 to 2002. He has also worked at the Bank for International Settlements and was Professor of Economics at the Asian Public Policy Program, School of International and Public Policy, Hitotsubashi University.

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