Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

7 March 2002

Changing Corporate Asia - What Business Needs to Know

Latest report by the Economic Analytical Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. To be launched by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, in Sydney, 1 pm, 7 March, 2002.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, will launch Changing Corporate Asia,What Business Needs to Know and speak on change in corporate Asia on 7 March.

The report highlights how the crisis is undermining East Asian economies' relationship-based business models, but rules based models are emerging only slowly to take their place. Emerging economies risk being caught in limbo unless governments act quickly.

The crisis made many major banks and companies insolvent. Such companies are not repaying loans or suppliers, so many regional businesses can no longer rely on relationships to do business. Few foreign or local banks are willing to lend to corporates. Hence, regional investment and growth continue to languish.

The report analyses how major regional economies are responding to this crucial challenge, detailing recent market opening and regulatory reforms in all 11 major East Asian economies and Australia. To help their economies return to robust growth, governments increasingly recognise they must construct a viable rules based business environment. However, with vested interests seeking to shield themselves from corporate restructuring and building competitive pressures, governments are finding they need strong political will to maintain reform momentum.

For briefing and free electronic or express delivered embargoed report copies contact:

Brendan Berne
Director, EAU
Ph: 02 6261 3723

Dr Frances Perkins
Executive Director, EAU
Ph: 02 6261 2237

David Lowe
Deputy Director, EAU
Ph: 02 6261 2367

Implications for Australia

Key Points

Regional Economy Studies