The article finds that in 1980 the global economy’s centre of gravity was mid-Atlantic. By 2008, from the continuing rise of China and the rest of East Asia, that centre of gravity had drifted to a location east of Helsinki and Bucharest. Extrapolating growth in almost 700 locations across Earth, this article projects the world’s economic centre of gravity to locate by 2050 literally between India and China.
The black dots here are the locations from 1980 up to now, and the red dots the projections up to 2049. With the assistance of an online calculator the great circle flying distances between these points and Cairns is:
1980: 18,140km; 2010: 12,910km; 2049: 7,770km. So, by 2049 the distance of Cairns from the world economy's centre of gravity (WECG) will be cut to less than half what it was in 1980.
The complexities and problems of projecting a 3D location onto the earths surface are outlined in the paper. However, don't yet try to fly to that 2049 WECG as there is not yet an airport at that location in Tibet, and a look at Google earth doesn't show much prospect of there being one any time soon ......
Oliver Marc Hartwich discusses some of the implications at Business Spectator: Is Australia shy of the Asia boom. The new CEO of Cairns Airport seems to understand the strategic location of proximity to Asia.