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Immigration paves our way into the Asian century

The Australian - March 9, 2012. "Something big happened in the history of immigration last year. It didn't get any headlines. It had nothing to do with boats or asylum-seekers. It wasn't debated in parliament."

"But it is probably the most important development in immigration in years. Last year, for the first time in the history of Australia, Britain was not our largest source of permanent migrants. For the first time, more people moved to Australia from China than any other country.

As we talk of Australia's role in the Asian century, there is a lot of focus on trade and resources, naturally enough. But it is immigration - and skilled migration in particular - that is the greatest cross-cultural and economic development program of them all.

Skilled and business migrants from Asia increase our trade links, our understanding of the region and our national language skills. And it's not just China we're talking about, of course. Putting aside New Zealand, which has separate migration arrangements with Australia, India and The Philippines are our third and fourth largest sources of new residents."




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