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Sydney: The wealth of Australians and the nation as a whole will significantly rise over the next decade through increased engagement with a rapidly rising Asia, a new white paper has said.
The white paper on Australia in the Asian Century commissioned by Prime Minster Julia Gillard outlines 25 objectives for the nation to achieve by 2025.
The objectives include "every child learning an Asian language and studying Asian culture".
"Our goal is to ensure that Australians have higher incomes in a more diverse economy that is resilient in the face of ongoing change," the 312-page report said.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, it, however, warns "all of us will have to work smarter to maximise prosperity and manage challenges".
It said that by 2025, Australia's average national income could be 73,000 dollars per person, compared with 62,000 dollars now.
The paper was put together by a team led by former Treasury secretary Dr Ken Henry and seeks to look beyond Australia's current reliance on Asia for mineral exports.
"The Asian Century offers a wealth of opportunities and career choices in a variety of businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises, especially for Australia's young people," the paper said.
According to the report, it identifies sport, tourism, education, the arts, professional, business, banking and financial services, science and technology ''thanks to a growing affluence in Asia''.
It cites that in agriculture alone, rising food demand and a growing middle class create opportunities for Australia 'to be an important supplier of high-value food', the report said.
It places great emphasis on learning Asian languages and said Asian studies ''will be a core part of a national school curriculum''. All students would learn Chinese, Hindi, Indonesia or Japanese.
The paper stressed that the focus on the region would not be to the detriment of existing relations.
"Australia would continue to 'work with the United States to ensure that it continues to have a strong and consistent presence in the region, with our alliance contributing to regional stability, security and peace,' it said.
It spoke about enormous potential in the Chinese tourism market and the need for greater transparency in screening foreign investment, it added.