Covid-19 has fuelled protectionist and authoritarian trends around the world as some countries take advantage of the pandemic to erode the rule of law, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warns.
But in a written submission to the committee ahead of the hearing, Dfat says the pandemic has heightened pre-existing risks to Australian interests.
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“Global supply chains and international trade have been disrupted, major power strategic competition has sharpened, and protectionist and authoritarian trends have been reinforced,” the submission says.
“The impact in developing countries is likely to be deeper and more prolonged, which will have implications for the security, stability and prosperity of Australia’s region.”.
“In some regional flashpoints, actors could see an opportunity to make gains while governments are preoccupied with domestic imperatives,” Dfat says.
The joint standing committee is looking into the implications of the pandemic for Australia’s foreign affairs, defence and trade. »