Gear up and get ready for China 2.0 was the message from the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP at a CEDA event in Brisbane.
The Australian economy, the Queensland economy, China, Africa, Uranium, ETS, carbon taxes and renewable energy were all topics discussed at the In 2020 event with Mr Rudd.
Mr Rudd opened with a prepared speech covering China's new growth model, Australia's economy, as well as our future energy sources.
China's new growth plan is of fundamental importance and while "it does not discard the old model" their new "growth model and pattern of demand will be radically different to what we have experienced so far," he said.
"When we look out to the China of 2020 and the China beyond that as well, this will be not just a growing economy...(but)probably the largest economy in the world."
While he said the resources sector should not be concerned, he cautioned the services sector who should be prepared for China's growth in this area.
"The challenge therefore for our services industries...is to understand that this is not just a huge market, it is a highly diversified market," he said.
"China's future economic opportunity should be seen in terms of a collection of significant, large, diverse regional economies in itself, comparable to the way in which we have viewed Europe for last 20 or 30 years.
With increasing demand for energy, "we [Australia] are positioned in a way and in a manner, right now whereby we will not only serve our own economic interests but serve the development needs of so many economies around us."
Long term energy security is a priority for China and India and now "looms in central place" for Australia, because there is no "economy without energy", he said. "Carbon pricing is here to stay," not just in Australia but in the world, he continued.
Following Kevin's address, former ABC and News Ltd journalist and managing editor, Anna Reynolds, moderated the conversation part of the event. The audience quizzed Mr Rudd on: