SSU Forum: “Disruption and Diversity in Australia’s Economic Security”

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    Online Seminar (Zoom Webinar)
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  • Host:

    Security Studies Unit (SSU), Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of Tokyo

  • Language:

    English (Japanese simultaneous translation available)

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Today’s rising competition between China and the United States has blurred the lines between economic and security affairs. Major countries have taken concrete measures to enhance their economic security, including reinforcing their industrial bases, preventing the outflow of sensitive technologies, and tightening export controls. What are the global trends in economic security? How should Japan respond? Since 2022, the Security Studies Unit (SSU) has conducted a research project that seeks to investigate the economic security policies adopted by major countries.

This forum welcomes Jeffrey Wilson, Director of Research and Economics at the Australian Industry Group, to discuss how Australia manages economic security risks. He argues that Australia has had to confront three disruptions to its economic security in recent years: the impact of trade coercion on exports, the impact of supply chain interruptions on imports, and the impact of decarbonization on energy security. Dr. Wilson will discuss how diversification – in both what Australia trades and who it trades with – has become the guiding principle for a new national approach to managing economic security risks. But he also cautioned that diversification has delivered mixed results, with some notable successes alongside ongoing challenges.

This forum also brings together leading experts from academics and business communities for a panel discussion on broader issues in economic security and the current strategic environment.

*This forum is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.


Opening Remarks: Akio Takahara
(Professor, Graduate Schools for Law and Politics / Director of SSU Unit, the University of Tokyo)

Keynote Speaker: Jeffrey Wilson
(Director of Research and Economics, Australian Industry Group)

—Panel discussion—
Discussant 1: Tomohiko Satake
(Associate Professor, School of International Politics, Economics and Communication (SIPEC), Aoyama Gakuin University)

Discussant 2: Arata Kuno
(Professor, Institute for Future Initiatives / Department of International Relations, Faculty of International Relations, Asia University)

Discussant 3: Teruko Wada
(Director, International Affairs Bureau, Japan Business Federation)

Closing Remarks: 

Moderator: Ryo SAHASHI
(Associate Professor, Institute for Future Initiatives / International Relations Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo)

The global economic landscape has undergone a remarkable shift in recent years. The intensifying competition between the U.S. and China for global economic and technological leadership and the supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have driven countries such as Australia to take measures to identify, assess, and manage risks to their economic security. What are the major economic security challenges Australia has confronted? What approaches has the country taken to mitigate the impact of the recent disruptions to its economies? Can the Australian experience in managing economic security risks offer lessons for other countries?
On February 27, 2024, the Security Studies Unit (SSU) at the Institute for Future Initiatives hosted Dr. Jeffrey Wilson, Director of Research and Economics at the Australian Industry Group, for a keynote speech on the current state of Australia’s economic security. The event began with opening remarks from Dr. Akio Takahara, head of the SSU and a professor at the University of Tokyo. Following his keynote address, Dr. Wilson was joined in conversation by Dr. Tomohiko Satake, Associate Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University; Dr. Arata Kuno, Professor at Asia University; and Ms. Teruko Wada, Director of the International Affairs Bureau at the Japan Business Federation, before taking questions from the audience. The discussion was moderated by Ryo Sahashi, Associate Professor of International Relations from the University of Tokyo.


* The forum was organized by subsidies from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan for research on diplomacy and security.
*The published language is the original audio only.
*Some parts may be difficult to understand.

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