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Talal Yassine OAM Addresses the Crescent Institute Perth Launch 13 June 2014

The Crescent Institute is delighted to have launched its Perth events on Friday the 13th of June at Deloitte with its Patron Mr Talal Yassine OAM.  (Click here for event photos)

The evening commenced with introductions by Mr Affy Bhati to guests followed by Mr Steve Walsh (Deloitte Partner) as host sponsor formally introducing Talal Yassine. Steve paid particular attention to the topic of the evening and his firm’s interest in Asia's effects on Australian markets. 

Talal began by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land and his delight at launching the Crescent Institute in Perth. He then touched on the topic for the evening, 'Australia in the Asian Century: A go north turn left strategy' which as Talal put it, 'is code for the Australian National Interest" and what we as a nation should be doing on a social, economic, corporate and political level.

However prior to delving into the topic Talal gave the audience his brief personal background coming from a large immigrant family escaping civil war in Lebanon and embracing Australia, 'the lucky country'. He shared personal struggles his family went through including the 'boat people' trip his parents took and the opportunity Australia provided rarely available in other parts of the world.

Talal then delved into the topic commenting on Australia's somewhat incredible growth for such a young country - which was down to two main factors; a hardworking culture coupled with luck in natural resources ranging from the gold rush through to the current mineral and resources boom. Both these factors have played an equally important role in enabling Australia to 'punch way above its weight globally'.

Talal continued to speak about Australia's most important asset being the relatively high skilled, hardworking and educated labour force available - a world leader yet was concerned that such skill has not always been fully utilised on the global stage.

Talal went on to highlight the impeccable track record of 23 years of economic growth, the strength to sail through the global financial crisis whilst keeping unemployment low and inflation steady as a testament to Australia's economic potential. With Asia's exponential growth where '600 million people are entering the middle class demanding a higher standard of living' Australia is yet again lucky to be situated in a place where so much activity and growth is present. 

However harnessing this opportunity requires a re-think of how Australia has historically traded. Talal asserted that Australia has generally had a 3 way triangular relationship with the United States and the UK (Europe). Not withstanding these strong trade links, Talal stressed that an 'inner triangle within our existing relationships' needs to be strengthened and established including a larger focus North in Asia as well as Left (West), the Middle East.

Mr Yassine re-iterated the importance of maintaining existing trade partnerships given the historical, social, cultural and religious links however stressed the need to jump at the opportunity currently available in emerging markets. He also touched on the need to socially recognise the different ways business is conducted in Asia where friendship always comes before transactions are possible. Creating these friendship ties includes better understanding and respecting Asian and Middle Eastern culture as well as creating a more streamlined team Australia to deal with the many opportunities available in the Asian Century.   

During the final segment of the evening, Mr Yassine fielded a wide range of questions ranging from relationships with Indonesia 'Beyond Bali', geo-political tensions generated by a shift in trade policies through to his Australia’s growth outlook.

The Crescent Institute would sincerely like to thank all guests who attended the evening, the event would not have been possible without you. Additonally the Crescent Institute would like to thank its sponsors for their generous support - In particular Deloitte as host sponsor in Perth. 

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