CANBERRA – Although the relationship between China and the United States is critical to Asia’s future, this does not mean that the region will become a Sino-American duopoly. The concept of a “G-2” is never going to fly in Asia.
To begin with, excluding China, Asia’s combined GDP is roughly equivalent to that of the US, and it vastly exceeds that of China. Furthermore, Japan remains the world’s third-largest economy, while economies like India, South Korea, Indonesia, and Australia are growing rapidly.
Under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s direction, Indonesia is on the cusp of becoming a $1 trillion economy. With a population approaching 250 million, the country’s annual GDP growth has been consistently above 6%. At this rate, Indonesia is likely to emerge as one of the world’s top six economies by 2030.
Moreover, most of these dynamic emerging economies are also robust democracies and are committed to open economic policies. Indeed, free-trade agreements (FTAs) are expanding across the region.