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Economic diplomacy: Indonesia, climate and Abe (The Interpreter)
September 27, 2018
By Greg Earl
From the article:
Coming to the aid
Australia’s aid and immigration policies have won unaccustomed praise from a global survey of wealthy country development aid practices, in a reversal of the popular view that they damage the national image.
The country has risen four places to 14th in the Global Development Index published by the Washington-based Center for Global Development. Australia’s migration and aid policies were ranked even higher at eight and nine out of 27 with plaudits for the quality of the aid program. Migration integration and student entry policies were rated highly, but the management of refugees was criticised.
Australia’s highest ranking of three was for its trade policies, which made it the index leader in being open to trade with developing countries and having the second-lowest tariffs and agricultural subsidies.
The index reflects the new thinking (embraced under former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop) that the development process is about more than pure aid spending and can often be more effectively achieved by measures such as more open trade and labour mobility practices.
Australia’s ranking was held down largely because of its third-last ranking on environment, where the survey noted Australia had a poor rating on petrol taxation, tropical timber imports and greenhouse gas emissions per capita.