Australian model of development

November 14, 2012

Time to look forward, not backward

For the past 20 years Mongolians have been carrying out the social and economic changes to strengthen the nationaldemocracy and create a market economy. To create a market economy means to followthe free marketprinciples in every actionin order to set a free price at the crosspoint where supply meets demand. Only through free competition will the continuous supply of goods and services satisfy the demand.
Government interferencehinders free competition. That is why any government operation is kept under public watch.Mongolian government is trying to reduce operational costs. It is a good start,especially with the clearning of traffic in Zamiin Uud border, projects for improving road quality, developing infrastructure with specific planning.
Today is the time for Mongolians to set forth a goal and work. We have been talking about our history for many years, praising our Great Khan and sticking his picture and name in every possible place. No one is going to take our Chinggis Khan away. No one will rob us of our art, culture and tradition. They exist in our blood and bone. There is no need to break into an unlocked door.
It is time for us to work hard, to create and to lay the properous basis for future generations. We now must choose how and what we will create and which development model we will follow to do it.To achieve a great deed, one must have a great goal. We are at a historical place in time where our minds and energymust unite for the purpose of fulfilling that goal.We have to be smart and work efficiently by learning from the experiences of others.

“Oz” model

We have a chance to thoroughly study Australia’s (Australia is also called “Oz”) development model and apply certain parts of it in our country. It has been said that the new model that ensures both the efficiency of social development and equal participation is Australia. Peter Hartcher wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald, “Australia is the country that seems to have achieved a sweet spot, combining the vigour of American capitalism with the humanity of European welfare, yet suffering the drawbacks of neither”.
Australia and Mongolia have many similarities. Population of Australia is 7.7 times as much as that of Mongolia, which means land per capita is 350 square meters in Australia while it is 557 in Mongolia. Agriculture accounts for four percent of Australia’s economy, industrial sector 25 percent and the service sector makes up 70 percent. Mining products comprised 55 percent of Australia’s exports in 2011. The major exports include coal, iron ore, gold and uranium.
Australia’s GDP and GDP per capita are 10 times the GDP of Mongolia. In other words, a middle-income Australian is 10 times wealthier than a middle-income Mongolian.
Australia’s policy to boost its economic performance is aimed at increasing the amount of investment in infrastructure, reducing taxes and supporting people to have more income and savings. The stability and reliability of its banking and finance system allowed Australia to become the only country to not have suffered during the last global financial crisis.They invite educated, knowledgeable people from abroad to develop its economy, which contributed to Australia for barely noticing the crisis in the real estate market. Australia’s economy developed rapidly because of the timely implementation of a good policy. For example, the basis for successfully developing the mining sector as well as agriculture is the land ownership issue.
As a result of the decision made by the High Court of Australia that recognized the land rights of indigenous people, land had owners, which sped up the development process and prevented people from migrating to urban areas. Australia can truly protect human rights, freedom and property of people. During these days, every newspaper was writing about Sarah Armstrong, a legal advisor of “Southgobi Sands” LLC, who was held in Mongolia.
Technical professions and advanced trainings are highly developed in Australia and hourly wage of employees is high. Education is a large export sector and many students come to study in Australia from abroad and pay for university education. Australia’s National University (ANU) is currently one of the best 50 universities in the world. A new goal has just been set forth to have ANU to be included in the top 10 universities and to have ten universities from Australia to be included in the best 100 universities of the world by 2025.
The number of Australian tourists visiting Mongolia is rising as well as the number of Mongolian students traveling to Australia to acquire higher education. Furthermore, the current cooperation between Mongolia and Australian companies in the mining sector is opening up a great opportunity for the relations between these countries to further develop. We have much to learn from Australia, the country that came up with numerous important initiatives and technology for environmental rehabilitation in the mining sector.
A system where the government makes a decision only after a discussion involving multiple parties has formed in this country that managed to develop good public governance.An important part of this system is the shadow government as in the “Shadow Cabinet” in the United Kingdom. Every decision to be made is debated between the leaders of the ruling party and the opposition. This way, the public is made informed of what is going on, thus, having a positive influence on the voters’ awareness.
Mongolia can cooperate with Australia in the sectors of education, agriculture, mining and renewable energy, which are the similarities we share. Eighty percent of Australia’s energy is supplied by coal and renewable energy sources. Although Australia is rich in uranium, it does not pursue any policy to use nuclear power and only exports raw uranium as the country is a party to the Treaty of Rarotonga that declared the South Pacific region a nuclear free zone. In terms of uranium reserves and technology, Australia is more capable and resourceful than Mongolia. However, they do not have any objective to have nuclear waste burial or to create small sources of nuclear power.
The Australian Government has recently released a white paper called “Australia in the Asian Century”, which defines the policies Australia will pursue in the Asia Pacific region until 2025. This paper says that Australia will open its embassy in Mongolia if the right circumstances are created.
R.Bold, the Ambassador of Mongolia to Australia, said “Australia may not talk about ‘big policies’ and might be seen as a little bit ‘selfish’ as it has its own policies that only work for them. However, this country has very strong, pragmatic position and policy that support its economic interests.”
We do not need to reinvent the wheel. A country like ours can only catch up with the developed countries by learning from their mistakes and moving forward rapidly. The time has already come for us to work with every inch of our brains.


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