Australia more engaged with North Asia than Russia

Julia Gillard is in Vladivostok for the APEC meeting. It’s interesting that Australia exports twice as much to China (around US$74 billion in 2011) than Russia does (around US$34 billion in 2011). Australia also exports more to Japan and South Korea. This is notwithstanding Russia’s closer proximity to all of these countries. I think this is a testament to good Australian economic policies: low sovereign risk, encouragement of foreign investment, absence of export restrictions, absence of government monopolies etc. It also reflects the historic Russian focus on Europe and historic geopolitical differences in North Asia. However the Russians are clearly keen to expand Asian trade, as hostig the summit demonstrates.