Hugh White is a professor of strategic studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University.
In April, the World Bank–affiliated International Comparison Program published figures that compared the size of economies around the world. Its new methods provided a truer picture of the relative wealth of different countries, and the results were sobering – at least for Australia. Indonesia’s gross domestic product in 2011 was calculated to be $2.1 trillion, more than double Australia’s at $0.96 trillion. That meant Indonesia had the tenth-biggest economy in the world, while Australia only came in 19th. Indonesia’s economic lead over Australia is much larger than anyone had expected, and it will widen over the next few decades if Indonesia’s economy keeps growing faster than ours. The secretary of the Australian treasury, Martin Parkinson, recently cited predictions that by 2050 Indonesia would be among the five largest economies in the world, up there with China, India...
You are reading
free articles this month Already a subscriber?