World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Step Forward for Australia and ASEAN

Step Forward for Australia and ASEAN

We welcome the statement from ASEAN Economic Ministers supporting an ASEAN/Australia/New Zealand Free Trade Area as a step forward for Australia-ASEAN economic relations.

We are also appreciative of the decision to support the possibility of a summit between ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand later this year.

ASEAN’s decision to look at ways to further deepen our economic partnership, including through examining a free trade agreement, reflects Australia’s already close engagement with ASEAN. It builds on a wide and deep network of economic, commercial and financial relations between Australia and ASEAN.

This welcome step forward by the ASEAN Economic Ministers reflects Australia’s successful and broad engagement with the countries of our region.

A trade agreement would complement the two Free Trade Agreements Australia has recently negotiated with ASEAN members. The FTA with Singapore has now entered into force and one with Thailand – Thailand’s first with a developed economy – will come into force next year.

Forward-looking thinking is appropriate this year, the thirtieth year of Australia’s relations with ASEAN. Our long-standing relationship already embraces security dialogues with four ASEAN countries, counter-terrorism cooperation and signed MOUs with five members, growing people-to-people links through schools and universities, non-government organisations, and individuals. Australia and ASEAN are also strong partners in development cooperation, with an estimated total of $395 million pa going to ASEAN.

Australia was pleased to welcome the ASEAN Secretary-General, Ong Keng Yong, for a visit last week to mark the anniversary of relations.

Through the AFTA-CER Closer Economic Partnership (CEP), Australia is working with ASEAN members to strengthen regional links, promote growth and development and pursue common trade goals. Good progress has been made in the first year of the Closer Economic Partnership and we are firmly on-track to meet our goal of doubling trade and investment with ASEAN by 2010.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC