Australia is known as the “lucky country” with its sunny climes, beautiful beaches and relaxed lifestyle. But did you know that it is also a “happy” country, at least according to well-being measures?
The Australian economy has been one of the OECD’s best performing economies, though it now faces some major challenges.
Australia has established itself as a G20 force in Asia-Pacific, and is now embarking on a new wave of engagement in the Asian Century.
Australians are well-known for being a sports-mad people. Some 43% of the adult population attended at least one sporting event in 2009-10 and national pride is often rooted in the latest successes of its national sports teams and international sports stars. Beating the All Blacks in rugby union (a rare event these days) or the English in cricket (a more even match) will significantly lift the national mood. After Australia II won the America’s Cup sailing race in 1983, Prime Minister Bob Hawke famously declared an effective public holiday: “Any boss who sacks a worker for not turning up today is a bum.”
Australia is not a founding member of the OECD, which was created in 1961. Rather, its decision to seek membership was only taken after ten years of intermittent debate.
Each G20 presidency faces its own challenges. A presidency must respond to global economic conditions, it must build on previous work, and it must seize opportunities to progress with reforms where members can reach consensus.
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