The Hon Anthony Albanese, MP, Prime Minister of Australia hosted leaders for the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit to celebrate 50 years of partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Together we marked the significant milestone with the announcement of various new initiatives by Australia worth over $500 million. These initiatives, outlined in the ASEAN-Australia Joint Leaders’ Vision Statement and the Melbourne Declaration, aim to strengthen cooperation and shared aspirations for the future between Australia and ASEAN nations.

A $2 billion Southeast Asia Investment Financing Facility

When addressing business, Australia pledged a $2 billion Southeast Asia Investment Financing Facility to catalyse private sector investment in the region, along with an additional $140 million for infrastructure development. The appointment of 10 senior private sector Business Champions and the establishment of regional technology Landing Pads in Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City are set to enhance commercial links and drive digital transformation.

Facilitating easier travel between Southeast Asia and Australia, initiatives such as extending the validity of Business Visitor visas and introducing the Frequent Traveller stream aim to bolster people-to-people links. Furthermore, the establishment of regional hub locations for investment Deal Teams and the Australia-Southeast Asia Business Exchange mission will facilitate greater exposure and collaboration opportunities for Australian exporters in the region.

Socio-cultural investment, collaboration and cooperation

When looking at socio-cultural, Australia pledged to establish a dedicated ASEAN-Australia Centre to promote Southeast Asia literacy and investment within Australia. Additionally, the provision of Aus4ASEAN Scholarships and Fellowships, English-language training for Timor-Leste, and funding for climate and clean energy initiatives underscore Australia’s commitment to education, sustainable development, and climate action in the region.

Maritime cooperation received a boost with Australia allocating $64 million to the Southeast Asia Maritime Partnerships Initiative, aimed at enhancing maritime capacity-building and stability in the region.

Business leaders, small and medium enterprises and industry groups 

Thematic tracks during the summit included discussions on business, climate and clean energy transition, emerging leaders, and maritime cooperation. These discussions facilitated engagement between industry leaders, policymakers, and experts, fostering collaboration and generating innovative solutions to shared challenges.

The summit also featured ASEAN-Australia Week, comprising academic, cultural, educational, and business events aimed at establishing new people-to-people connections and showcasing the depth of ASEAN-Australia relations.

Overall, the 2024 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit demonstrated a strong commitment from Australia towards fostering cooperation and partnerships with ASEAN nations across various sectors, paving the way for enhanced regional collaboration and prosperity.

Find out more: https://aseanaustralia.pmc.gov.au/ and explore how we can assist Southeast Asian Nations with APAC Support Service. Alternatively, contact Eric Sun who is a Director of our Corporate Finance.

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