The Middle East – the new Asia: why Australia should concentrate on strengthening the economic relationship

Crawford School of Public Policy

Event details


Date & time

Wednesday 29 July 2015


Weston Theatre, Level 1, Crawford Building 132, Lennox Crossing, ANU


Talal Yassine OAM, ANU Honorary Professorial Fellow, Crawford School, and Chairman of the Council for Australian-Arab Relations.


Jessica Fertig
02 9016 4562

Australia has always been a go-ahead nation, eager to plot new courses, test ideas and take ourselves into the world to form new friendships, alliances and business opportunities. Traditionally this has been with our ‘old-world’ European and US partners that have shaped our economic and cultural progress. Over the past two decades we have capitalised on a post-European focus by establishing networks with regional investment into China and South East Asia, who have an insatiable appetite, fuelled by a growing middle class. However, there is another potential partner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with similar characteristics – which we as a nation, are in real danger of overlooking - to our economic detriment.

Looking past the stereotypes of the region, we find a large middle class, strong urbanisation and governments willing to modernise their societies. For example trade with the Gulf alone already exceeds that of trade with the UK; and Australia is well positioned to capitalise further. We can increase our trade with the region tenfold by going north to Asia and turning left to the Middle East.

In this presentation, Talal Yassine OAM, ANU Honorary Professorial Fellow at Crawford School of Public Policy, and the Chairman of the Council for Australian Arab Relations (CAAR), Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will discuss the reasons why Australia should concentrate on strengthening the economic relationship with the Middle East, North Africa and the entire Arab world.

Talal Yassine is an experienced lawyer, banker and non-executive director. After 10 years at PwC as a Director and strategist, Talal joined investment firm Babcock & Brown Ltd in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia and is the founder and Managing Director of Islamic wealth manager, Crescent Wealth.

Please RSVP to the registration button or to Jessica Fertig at or on 02 9016 4562.

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