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Australia: Calls for Industries to Boost Profile with Asia
Source: ABC Asia Pacific News
Source Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Australia
Created: Jun 19, 2012

The Australian government has told a national economic forum the country has the potential to be the "engine room" for Asia.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the domestic economy is in great shape but the message isn't always cutting through.

"The bad news from overseas is making more news than hailstones on a tin roof," she said.

She has urged business and union leaders at the forum to sing Australia's economic praises from the rooftops instead.

Ms Gillard has warned business leaders there is hard work ahead to maintain Australia's strong financial credentials.

She says people have worked together to survive the global financial storm and Australia isn't a lucky country by chance.

"Luck won't build us a new economy for the future. We have to make it," she said.

The Treasurer, Wayne Swan says the future is in capitalising on the Asian Century

"We don't necessarily have a free pass to get into every asian market," he said.

Labor says the forum will look at ways to lower the company tax rate, as well as considering how to fill the gaps in the mining workforce and deal with the high Australian dollar.

Mr Swan says global economic conditions are evolving from west to east.

"Becoming an engine room in the Asian century. Making this the Australian century in Asia."

The Liberal National Opposition has branded the forum a talkfest and a publicity stunt.
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