ANU to launch Asian economic policy bureau thanks to $3.9m funding from Government

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 — A new bureau for economic policy research focused on the Asia Pacific region will be launched at The Australian National University (ANU) on Wednesday.

The Asian Bureau of Economic Research (ABER) will be launched by Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr David Gruen, who will announce $3.9 million from the Federal Government to fund the program over its first five years.

The Bureau will work with 45 partner organisations from countries across Asia on economic policy issues facing the region.

Dr Shiro Armstrong, who will head up the Bureau, said Asian countries must work together to strengthen economic partnerships such as APEC and the TPP-11 to guard against the increasing threat posed by US President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade policies.

“These agreements are more important than ever, and they must be done collectively across the regions, not just by signing more of them between one or two partners,” Dr Armstrong said.

“It’s the bigger regional agreements that help really make a difference in keeping the global economy open in the face of a challenge from US protectionism.”

Dr Armstrong called on Australian policy makers to help lead the way in mobilising regional efforts.

“Australia needs to work with other countries in the region that have an interest in keeping markets open,” he said.

“We need to identify what we can do to preserve the rules and openness of the regional economy. The immediate priority is the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in Asia.”

The launch event will feature renowned economic experts in a panel discussion focusing on Asia’s responses to uncertainty in the global economy.

Panellists include:

  • Dr David Gruen, Deputy Secretary at Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Dr Shiro Armstrong, Director of East Asian Bureau of Economic Research
  • Dr Craig Emerson, ANU and Craig Emerson Economics
  • Mari Pangestu, Professor of Economics at the University of Indonesia and former Trade Minister of Indonesia
  • He Fan, Professor of Economics at Peking University

Media are invited to attend and more information is available here:

WHAT: Launch of Asian Bureau of Economic Research
WHERE: China in the World Lecture Theatre, ANU
WHEN: 5pm Wednesday 24 October 2018

For media assistance, contact the ANU Media Team on +61 2 6125 7979 or at