During the past 25 years, Australian Foreign Policy has consisted of a balance between economic and security priorities. No government can afford to focus on one to the detriment of the other. During the Hawke and Keating era (1983-1996), economic factors were of significant importance as we were in a region that was growing rapidly, faster than any other region in the world. Although having said this, it can be argued that there were exceptions whereby security initiatives were of equal concern to the government. In the current day (Howard era), it is possible to view that there is a higher emphasis on security initiatives than ever before due to being situated in a heavily volatile region (Arc of Instability). Having said this, there once again has been emphasis on the economic growth and prosperity of our nation at the same time, via the use of Trade Agreements and other forms of economic policy. This indicates that although there have been concern on economic factors in the past 25 years in relation to Australian Foreign Policy (AFP) decisions, there has also been a balanced emphasis on security factors during this period.
There is no doubt that during the Hawke/Keating era (83-96) economic
priorities received significant emphasis in Australian Foreign Policy decisions. To promote the economic growth and increase of trade in the Asia Pacific Region, the Hawke government embarked on a period of enmeshment' within the region. Keating proposed this enmeshment with neighboring "Tiger Economies" by co-founding the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Corporation), in 1989. Focused on facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region, it was seen as being crucial to maintain healthy international diplomatic relations within the Asia - Pacific region. This was largely due to the strengthening trading blocks such as the... [continues]
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