Australian Economist Calls for Truly Multilateral Agenda Amidst Global Economic Uncertainty

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Amidst a period of “considerable uncertainty” in the world economy, renowned Australian economist Peter Drysdale has emphasised the urgent need for a multilateral approach to address pressing challenges. 

Drysdale, head of the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research and East Asia Forum at the Australian National University, expressed concern over the significant inflation plaguing advanced countries, leading to tightening monetary policies.

“First of all, you know most of the advanced countries are suffering significant inflation, and monetary authorities are tightening monetary policy to address the inflation problem,” Drysdale said.

In a recent interview in Canberra, Drysdale pointed out that the decoupling and fragmentation in the international economy hinder transformative efforts towards decarbonisation, creating an uncertain investment and trade environment.

Asia and the Pacific economies are not immune to these challenges either. Drysdale observed that many countries in the region strive to resist decoupling and unilateralism in international trade, underlining the importance of a genuinely multilateral agenda in Asia.

Praising China’s economic resilience during the COVID-19 recovery, Drysdale emphasised China’s economic resilience after COVID-19 and highlighted the importance of China’s interest rate cut in stabilising market expectations. He believes China can be a significant global economic force again, primarily through active participation in initiatives like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

China holds a crucial role in Australia’s international trade, accounting for nearly one-third of the country’s trade in goods and services. The two countries’ complementary economic relationship, particularly in the resource and energy trade sectors, promises significant opportunities in the next two to three decades.

“There’s a potential for growth and productivity associated with that growth in China, feeding into our economy, into economies around the region, around the world,” Drysdale said.

In conclusion, Drysdale highlighted the importance of collaboration between Australia, China, and other countries to seize these opportunities and realise their economic potential.

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