Australia’s north is unique in the developed world. It sits at the intersection of the two great regions of global economic and population growth — Asia and the Tropics.
- The booming economies of South East Asia and southern China are within three to five hours flying time from Darwin.
- The Tropics account for 40 per cent of the world’s population today, rising to 50 per cent by 2050 (State of the Tropics, 2014).
- By 2030 Asia will represent approximately two thirds of the global middle class population and of middle class consumption (Pezzini, n.d.).
- The north operates in similar time zones to the most dynamic economies in Asia — a particular advantage for service industries.
- The region is integrating fast — Australia has recently concluded Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with Japan, South Korea and China, and is in ongoing negotiations with India, Indonesia and on regional FTAs such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Pacific Agreement for Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus.
- It is a gateway for our defence and security cooperation into the Indo-Pacific region and supports Australia’s ability to project and sustain forces into the region for surveillance, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.