The Hon Paul Keating was Prime Minister of Australia from 1991 to 1996 and Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia from 1983 to 1991.
Mr Keating presided over the decade and a half long task of internationalising the Australian economy. He floated the Australian dollar in 1983 and progressively opened the financial, product and labour markets to make the Australian economy one of the most open and flexible in the world. This flexibility kept Australia growing strongly during and after the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, through the international growth recession of 2000-2003 and through the global financial crisis of 2008-2009; underwriting Australia’s twenty two years of continuous economic growth.
During his period as Prime Minister, Mr Keating established Australia’s compulsory private savings scheme, known as superannuation, which has grown to $1.6 trillion in assets or 110% of GDP over the twenty seven years since its inception. During his Prime Ministership, Mr Keating organised the establishment of the APEC leaders’ meeting, the principal piece of political architecture in the Asia-Pacific.
Mr Keating’s book Engagement: Australia faces the Asia Pacific was published in 2000 and has been translated into Chinese and Japanese. His book of post-prime ministerial speeches, After Words, was published in 2011. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates in Laws from Keio University in Tokyo (May 1995), the National University of Singapore (September 1999) and the University of New South Wales (April 2003) and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Macquarie University in Sydney (April 2012).
Mr Keating is an occasional contributor to national and international press. He travels regularly to Asia and Europe where he maintains an interest in economic and strategic policy and contacts with current and former national leaders.