Fresh perspectives on key issues affecting Australia and its neighbourhood

First launched in 2018, the annual State of the Neighbourhood report places emphasis on Australia’s near neighbourhood of South East Asia and the South Pacific and seeks to inform government policy makers and industry leaders of the key thematic areas of Griffith Asia Institute’s research: politics, economics, security, governance, development and diplomacy in the Asia Pacific.

The report provides an opportunity to recast some of Australia’s key foreign, economic and development issues from a distinctively Queensland perspective.

Our objective in publishing this collection is to share our research insights and encourage informed community debate on Australia’s engagement in the Asia Pacific.

State of the Neighbourhood 2020

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic presented new and unexpected challenges for Australia and the region. In the span of a few short months sovereign states re-asserted their borders, forcing the retreat from globalisation. Internal and international travel came to a grinding halt, strict social distancing measures were mandated, and some governments committed billions of dollars to the economy to lessen the economic blow of the novel coronavirus. The cost of pandemic has been enormous, both on human lives and for the global economy. Some commentators have even said it will result in a complete reordering of the international system, with some rules now permanently changed.

The post-COVID19 landscape presents an opportunity to reset and reform towards community and economic recovery. It is a time to take stock of our existing commitments and the frameworks in place. In the post-COVID19 world, renewed commitment and momentum towards realising the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals agenda is critical for recovery, not just within Australia but for the region and globally.

The pandemic has also exposed vulnerabilities across international supply chains, the overreliance on services of exports, the hollowing out of manufacturing in the West and stark inequalities within communities.

The 2020 State of the Neighbourhood reflects and comments on a post-coronavirus landscape for Australia and the neighbourhood through the lens of partnerships, and towards realising the 2030 SDG mandate.

State of the Neighbourhood 2019

Professor Caitlin Byrne

2019 launch keynote speakers

Penny Burtt


Tom Calder

Tom Calder

Trade and Investment Queensland

Rowan Callick OBE

Griffith Asia Institute

Wen Gu

Australia China Business Council

Richard Maude

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Julia Newton-Howe

Julia Newton-Howes AM

Investing in Women

2018 State of the Neighbourhood

Topics include:

  • The neighbourhood in a state (Rowan Callick)
  • Asia Pacific economic outlook (Tony Makin)
  • New rules for the neighbourhood? The rise and rise of China's cities (Susan Harris Rimmer and Charuka Ekanayake)
  • The NAIM Arc: Shared interests and common concerns under a changing climate (Brendan Mackey)
  • Why health diplomacy in the Asia Pacific matters (Sara E Davies)


The State of the Neighbourhood report is launched in conjunction with the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) The Neighbourhood forum. CEDA is a respected independent national organisation with an engaged cross-sector membership.

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Contact the Griffith Asia Institute