Freiburg Horizons - Keynote Speech by Hal Hill
Freiburger Horizonte: The Economic Rise of Southeast Asia – Narratives, Lessons, Implications
Prof. Dr. Hal Hill, Australian National University
Jun 24, 2015
from 08:15 PM to 09:30 PM
|Where||Lecture Room HS 1098, College Building I, Platz der Universität 3|
|Contact Name||Jan-Simon Dörflinger|
öffentlich / open to the public
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Under the broader question of “Towards a Pacific World Order?”, Hal Hill, Professor for Southeast Asian Economies at the Australian National University and FRIAS Senior Fellow, will give a lecture on “The Economic Rise of Southeast Asia: Narratives, Lessons, Implications”. The lecture serves as a keynote speech for the opening of the two-day conference of the FRIAS Research Focus Southeast Asia on “Dynamic Alignments and Dealignments in Southeast Asia” from June 24-26, 2015.
The Economic Rise of Southeast Asia – Narratives, Lessons, Implications
The 10 countries of Southeast Asia, that together form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), are among the most dynamic and diverse in the developing world. This dynamism is one of the factors underpinning the shift in the global centre of economic activity towards the Asia-Pacific region. If the 20th century was labeled the ‘Atlantic Century’, then we are now witnessing the transition to the ‘Pacific Century’. This Lecture examines the economic and social development of these 10 countries, set in their historical and political contexts. We explore both the region’s major achievements over recent decades and the many challenges facing its 625 million people. We also compare and contrast ASEAN with the European Union, as the two most durable regional groupings in the world today. The final part of the Lecture addresses some of the broader implications of the rise of the Asia-Pacific region.
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At the second event in the framework of the „Freiburger Horizonte“, FRIAS-Fellow Prof. Hal Hill from the Australian National University gave a lecture on the topic of “Towards a Pacific World Order? The Economic Rise of Southeast Asia: Narratives, Lessons, Implications”. The lecture also served as a keynote speech for the opening of the two-day conference of the FRIAS Research Focus “Dynamic Alignments and Dealignments in Global Southeast Asia”, which analysed the mechanisms of cooperation and conflict in Southeast Asia from the combined perspectives of economics, anthropology, history and political science.
In his lecture, Hal Hill focussed on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the association of those ten Southeast Asian countries whose growth and dynamic, together with the “economic giants” China, Korea and Japan, led to the increasing shift of economic activities towards the Asia-Pacific region. As a professor for Southeast Asian Economies, he examined the economic and social development of these 10 countries with their 625 million people. In particular, Hal Hill referred to Indonesia as a country that went “from gloom to boom”, i.e. from a developing country to one of the 10 biggest economies worldwide, to a vibrant democracy and a dominating power inside ASEAN. He emphasized the successful transformation of Southeast Asian countries towards growth, integration into the world economy, reduction of poverty and improving education. At the same time, he identified major challenges for the region, namely the rising inequality, the vast economic and political differences within ASEAN and the existing corruption in many Southeast Asian countries. When comparing ASEAN with the European Union (EU), he highlighted the common initial concept of both communities, which aims at overcoming regional conflicts for the sake of good neighbourhood. However, he also made it clear that, contrary to the EU, national sovereignty remains a prerequisite for any form of regional cooperation in Southeast Asia, and that a transfer of authority comparable to the shift of decision-making power to Brussels in Europe, is not an option. What is more, the two organisations pursue different goals concerning economic policies: while the EU has so far concentrated on the creation of a common market, ASEAN is focussing on extra-regional trade.
After the lecture, participants were able to get together with Hal Hill and members of the FRIAS Research Focus Southeast Asia during a reception. The topic “Towards a Pacific World Order?” will be further discussed in another “Freiburger Horizonte”-event on November 18, 2015 in a panel discussion with participants from science and politics.
Hal Hill is the H.W. Arndt Professor of Southeast Asian Economies at the Australian National University. His general research interests are the economies of ASEAN, including country case studies and thematic, comparative work; industrialization and foreign investment in East Asia; regional (sub-national) development; and the political economy of development. He is the author or editor of 18 books and has written about 150 academic papers and book chapters. He has worked as a consultant for the Australian Government, the Indonesian Government, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and several United Nations agencies.