Economics plays a large part in the current policies of Asianisation: As has already been pointed out, powerful financial and political groups want a rapid expansion of Australia's population, in order to create a larger consumer market, as well as to provide a cheaper work force. Also, it is believed that, by making our country "Asian", Australian businesses - and the general economy - will be able to obtain economic benefits by being enmeshed with the "economic dynamo" of Asia. For these reasons, all of the major political parties, big businesses, and multi-national corporations happily encourage mass Asian immigration.
The editors of The Asia-Australia Survey 1994 stated that
Hugh Morgan (Chief Executive of Western Mining) has proposed a figure of "about half a million migrants annually".(131)
John Elliott (Managing Director of Elders IXL) advocated that "we aim at a quarter of a million a year".(132)
Campbell Anderson (Chief Executive of Renison Goldfields Consolidated) called for our migrant intake to be "increased to about one per cent of the population each year" (i.e. about 175 000).(133)
The Chamber of Commerce has called for an increase of up to 180 000, and the Master Builders' Federation has said the annual intake should be 150 000.(134)
The Business Council of Australia, one of the country's largest employer groups, said that immigration should be increased to more than 180 000.(135)
The Australian Chamber of Manufactures "has called on the Federal Government to increase Asian immigration" and, in particular, "says it wants more immigrants from Asian business communities such as Hong Kong and Taiwan".(136)
In 1997, the chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Manufactures, Allan Handberg, called for "more immigrants to stimulate the economy".(137)
Professor Hughes (Director of the National Centre for Development Studies at the Australian National University) has stated that
"...They warned that we had better get our act together quickly to decide how best to position ourselves in Asia.
"The corporations represented at the roundtable conference included computer giant Unisys, Chase Manhattan Bank and British Telecom.
"The combined turnover of the corporations at the conference is more than double the entire annual output of the Australian economy.
"The fifth such conference, it was an invaluable opportunity for the Howard government to spell out why we would be a good environment for investment into the next century.
"...With its share of world markets about to slip beneath 1 per cent, Australia has a narrowing window of opportunity to cash in on the investment splurge in the Asian region.
"...the message from international business is that Australia cannot afford the luxury of being half-heartened in its efforts to benefit from Asian economic growth.
"The expression "poor white trash" might come to have real meaning to our future generations if the opportunities are lost."(139)
So, the big-business sell-out of Australia is a two-edged sword. On one hand big business is demanding larger programmes of mass immigration, so as to create "economies of scale" in Australia; and perhaps a more compliant workforce - via poor Asian migrants as well as from increased competition for jobs. And at the same time big business sends Australian capital overseas to take advantage of Asia's more flexible (and sometimes corrupt) governments, less environmental restrictions, and a cheaper workforce (used to poor working conditions) - which, of course, means that Australia loses its investment capital, loses industries (and potential industries), and suffers from the resulting higher unemployment.