The United States’ Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has taken part in the official launch of the Perth USAsia Centre, a new Western Austrlian-based institution aimed at strengthening ties between the US, Australia and the Asian region.


Joined by Federal Tertiary Education Minister Senator Chris Evans and State Premier Colin Barnett, Secretary Clinton unveiled a plgaque commerating the launch of the new Centre at the University of Western Australia.


The new Centre has been designed as a leading policy think tank on the Australia-US-Asia strategic and economic relationship.


Professor Paul Johnson, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia, said the Perth USAsia Centre would rapidly become a globally significant institution, drawing strength from the proximity to Asia, and the expertise and existing links in Western Australia.


“The Perth USAsia Centre will be in a unique position, both geographically and in a policy sense, to analyse and understand the United States and Asia,” Professor Johnson said.


 “We share a time zone with the nations that promise the greatest economic growth of the 21st century and an abiding interest in the strategic and economic future of the United States. Our University looks forward to becoming a vital part of this relationship.”


The Perth USAsia Centre will initially specialise in three policy areas:


  • Australia-Asia-US strategic and economic triangle: evolving political-military relations in the Indo-Pacific, including American military presence in northwest Australia and Australia’s defence procurement plans, including next generation submarines; Western Australia’s key role in China-US economic relations as a location of American investment and a supplier of the Chinese and broader Asian market, with a focus on iron ore, liquefied natural gas and food production;
  • The business of energy and sustainability: maximising the long term benefits of the resources boom; alternative energy including wind, solar and geothermal; and food, soil and water sustainability;
  • Western Australia and the American west: leveraging the close historical, cultural, climatic and environmental parallels between these two regions.