A DRIVE to clear an $8 trillion infrastructure bottleneck in Asia and keep the region's economies strong will be a key idea in Julia Gillard's new blueprint for Australia's ties to the neighbourhood.
The Prime Minister will release the long-awaited white paper, Australia in the Asian Century, tomorrow in Sydney.
The paper is being kept under wraps but is believed to set out about 25 policy ''pathways'' for building a bridge from Australia into Asia.
Relations with China, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan will also be emphasised - along with a homily to the United States alliance - but the paper is also careful not to exclude other Asian nations.
Former Treasury boss Ken Henry led the drafting of the paper but the final product has been debated by cabinet and is a government report. Labor is seeking to build a story around ties to Asia as a way of explaining projects like the National Broadband Network and other reforms in Australia as necessary to connect with growing economies in the region.
But economic diplomacy will be a key focus of the paper, with Australia hoping to assist the region to strengthen financial services.
Roughly $8 trillion worth of infrastructure projects are thought to be needed across the region to cut the cost of delivering goods and services.
But countries across Asia are estimated to have only committed to about $380 billion of spending.
Australia hopes to encourage the development of financial markets and investment across the region to match the boom in trade.