Today the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Dr Michael Fullilove, welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP, of a $10 million strategic fund to support a major new Lowy Institute initiative focused on strengthening Australia’s ties with Asia.
“Asia’s rise offers remarkable opportunities, as well as challenges, for Australia. We now find ourselves at the centre of the geopolitical and economic action”, said Dr Fullilove.
The Engaging Asia Project will support new research, dialogues and partnerships that deepen and broaden Australia’s engagement with Asia. The Institute will use the income from the strategic fund to support a long-term program of activities.
“At the Lowy Institute every report we issue, every event we host, is touched in some way by Australia’s interactions with Asia. Our thick connections into Asia means we are well placed to provide the kind of analysis Australia needs as Asia rises”, said Dr Fullilove.
The initial priority of the project will be Indonesia. Indonesia is one of Australia’s most important neighbours, but in recent years has drifted from public consciousness. The 2013 Lowy Institute Poll found, for example, that only 33 per cent of Australians agree that Indonesia is a democracy despite it being 15 years since Indonesia’s democratisation.
In the first year, the Institute’s Engaging Asia Project will conduct important new research on Indonesia and host dialogues between Indonesians and Australians.
The Project will build upon the Institute's contribution to Australian policy on Asia over the last decade, including on issues such as Asia's changing power relations and the global impact of the region's economic rise. It will also draw upon the Institute's particular expertise on China, India and Indonesia, as well as the public opinion polling the Institute has conducted in these three key Asian countries.
Indonesia: Anthony Bubalo - Lowy Institute Research Director - +62 812899 26532 (mobile)/email@example.com
Australia: Stephanie Dunstan – Strategic Communications Manager - +61 2 8238 9040 (work)/firstname.lastname@example.org