Nation, World + Society

UCLA to host conference on the economic rise of Asia-Pacific region


UCLA and the Consulate-General of Australia in Los Angeles will host a conference Jan. 30 on the implications of the rapid economic rise of the Asia-Pacific region.

Part of an ongoing “U.S.-Australian Dialogue” series, the conference will be held in the Grand Horizon Room of Covel Commons at UCLA (map) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a reception.

The UCLA International Institute, the Burkle Center for International Relations and the Australian Consulate-General in Los Angeles are cohosting the event, which will focus on the geopolitical and economic impact of the rise of the Asia-Pacific region in the 21st century.

The pace of the region’s political and economic ascent is unparalleled and comes at a time when global partnerships have never been more important. By 2025, Asia will not only be the world’s largest producer of goods and services, it will also be home to the majority of the world’s middle-class population.

The profound implications of this shift in regional economic and strategic weight will be considered by policymakers, officials, scholars and business leaders from Australia and the United States.

“Asia is the future, and navigating the rapid changes and challenges in Asia will be an essential task for this nation as well as many others,” said Kal Raustiala, associate vice provost of the UCLA International Institute, professor of law and director of the Burkle Center.

“The United States and Australia are both Pacific powers with a Western heritage, but they are also close allies who share many important interests in the region,” Raustiala added. “It’s a privilege to be working with the Australian government on this terrific conference.”

Among featured speakers at the conference will be Kim Beazley, Australian ambassador to the United States; Robert Hill, former Australian defense minister; Jeffrey Bleich, former U.S. ambassador to Australia; and journalist Terry McCarthy, president and CEO of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.

“Sustaining focus – that’s the challenge for Asia policy. One of the reasons the Asia-Pacific is so crucial for our policymakers is that the prosperity which summons us does not squeak as loud as the crises which subsume us,” Beazley said.

In-depth analysis of trade and strategic rivalry in the Asia-Pacific region will be provided by a number of accomplished scholars, including UCLA’s Richard Steinberg (law) and Jerry Nickelsburg (economics; UCLA Anderson Forecast); Tom Plate of Loyola Marymount University (Asian and Pacific studies); David Kang of the University of Southern California (international relations and business); and Susan Shirk of UC San Diego (international relations/Pacific studies).

Business leaders and officials will explore the opportunities made possible by the region’s transformation. Australia, for example, offers U.S. companies an established gateway to the region.

In addition to the conference’s three major organizers, additional UCLA cosponsors include the Luskin School of Public Affairs, the School of Law’s International and Comparative Law Program and the Anderson School of Management.

Participants must register online prior to the conference. The cost is $30 for general admission, $5 for students with valid ID and $15 for UCLA faculty and staff with a valid ID. A small processing fee is also charged.

Conference check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 30. Parking is available for $12/day on the UCLA campus in Lot 7 and the Sunset Village parking lot (PSV). Click here for directions and parking information.

For more information, contact Christine Larson of the International Institute at 310-825-9796 or

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