Sydney, Australia : With an eye on strengthening partnership bonds between Australia and South East Asian countries, the Australian government launched Australia-ASEAN Council. This initiative will work towards building links between all the countries of South-East Asia.
South-East Asia is the one of the most important strategic and economic regions in the world with a combined GDP of around 2.5 trillion US dollars, and a population of over 620 million people. The 10 member nations of ASEAN now represent almost 15 per cent of Australia’s total trade, with two-way trade valued at almost $100 billion in 2014. The 10 member ASEAN countries include Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.
The Australia-ASEAN Council will shape Australia’s engagement with South-East Asia and strengthen partnerships through stronger business, education, science, arts and cultural links. It will also work closely with the New Colombo Plan and Australia Alumni networks to facilitate ongoing links between individuals and organisations.