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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard arrives to speak at the Lowy Institute on October 28.Australia launches a new policy aimed at tying its economic future to a rising AsiaWould require every student to study an Asian language and culture by 2025Creates a new ministry of Asian Century Policy to drive educational and investment reformsSeeks to increase agricultural and university investment to cater to newly rich Asian neighbors Every Australian child should learn Mandarin, Hindu or other regional language as the nation’s future is tied to the rise of the “Asian Century,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a policy speech [...]

SYDNEY/CANBERRA Australia risks losing an opportunity to become a farmyard for Asia, as growing unease over foreigners buying rural land threatens to provoke protectionist policies that may deter much needed investment in agriculture. With its vast landmass, abundant natural resources and stable government, Australia has relied on foreign farm investments for more than 100 years, with interest set to grow as the world looks to dramatically boost food production to feed Asia’s booming middle class over the next 40 years. “I think we are going to see a continued interest. The soft commodities boom around the world and the demand [...]

SYDNEY Unionised coal miners in Australia have voted to accept an employment contract offer by BHP Billiton following two years of industrial action, the workers’ union said on Monday. Workers at five mines, operated by BHP and co-owned by Mitsubishi Corp of Japan <8058.T>, supplying a fifth of the world’s traded metallurgical coal, restarted talks in July in hopes of resolving the dispute. BHP, the world’s biggest diversified mining company, in April invoked a declaration of force majeure as it struggled to meet overseas supply contracts, in part due to a barrage of rolling work stoppages staged by some 3,500 [...]

TOKYO The dollar firmed while most riskier assets fell on Wednesday as data from China and Australia deepened gloom about the global economic outlook, further reducing risk appetite already hurt by uncertainty about the timing of Spain’s request for a bailout. U.S. stock futures eased 0.2 percent, suggesting a weak start on Wall Street, while financial spreadbetters expect European bourses to open mixed. Predictions from financial spreadbetters for London’s FTSE 100 <.FTSE>, Paris’s CAC-40 <.FCHI> and Frankfurt’s DAX <.GDAXI> ranged from a 0.1 percent rise to a 0.2 percent drop. <.L> <.EU> <.N> Demand for the safe-haven dollar pushed the [...]

SYDNEY Australia’s central bank kept its key interest rate on hold at 3.5% on Tuesday, as widely expected. “The board judged that, with inflation expected to be consistent with the target and growth close to trend, but with a more subdued international outlook than was the case a few months ago, the stance of monetary policy remained appropriate,” said Gov. Glenn Stevens in a statement alongside the rate decision. The Australian dollar traded at $ 1.0248 after the decision, up from $ 1.0235 just before the announcement.

German engineering company Siemens says it has secured its first contract to build a major wind farm in Australia – a facility that will supply electricity to some 180,000 homes in the country’s south. The New Zealand-based Trust Power utility will operate the 90 wind turbines some 87 miles (140 kilometers) north of Adelaide. It said Wednesday the cost of the Snowtown II project totals 439 million Australian dollars ($ 448 million). Siemens, which itself gave no details of the deal’s value, said the wind turbines with a total power generating capacity of 270 megawatts will be operational by 2014. BERLIN

LOS ANGELES – Japanese stocks rallied out of the open Friday on the back of U.S. gains overnight and successful bond auctions in Europe. The Nikkei Stock Average gained 1% to 8,472.67, and the Topix…

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