1. The Tenth ASEAN – Australia Forum was held in Broadbeach, Queensland on 23 – 24 February 1986. The meeting was held in the traditional spirit of positive cooperation which has characterised the ASEAN – Australia dialogue relationship since its establishment in 1974.
  2. In his opening address, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bill Hayden emphasised that the Australian Government firmly believes that the countries of ASEAN form a significant part of the economically dynamic region of East and South East Asia. No other region of the world promises to be of more consistent importance to Australia.
  3. Mr. Hayden noted that countries of the region were undergoing a period of economic stress at present, largely as a result of developments beyond their control. The growth of consultation and cooperation between ASEAN and Australia on their common concerns in these matters as a major positive development. Regional countries had a vital interest in seeing that the multilateral Trading system as restored to a healthy state, and in keeping their concerns in this regard before the countries outside the region.
  4. Noting that economic and trade relations between ASEAN and Australia were on a sound footing. Mr. Hayden referred to the impressive gains made by ASEAN in the Australian market during 1984/85, including its exports of manufactured goods. He said the Australian government ,as determined to pursue policies capable of enhancing or restoring the vigour of Australia’s manufacturing and serice sectors, and to establish greater links with those sectors in ASEAN. Mr. Hayden noted there as a strong case for sensitivity to the concern of each other in working toward that goal.
  5. 5. Mr. Hayden also addressed some current issues of interest including the recently announced recisions to the Australian System of Tariff Preferences, textiles, clothing and footwear; and the Foreign Tax Credit System. He also announced Australian approval of an extension to the Food Technology Research and Development Project and new cooperative projects in Forest Tree Improvement and Microelectronics, “der the ASEAN Australia Economic Cooperation Programme (AAECP).
  6. 6. In their opening statements, the spokesman of the ASEAN delegations, Ambassador Samuel Ramel of the Philippines and the leader of the Australia delegation Mr. W.C.T. Miller, Acting Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, commented in positive terms on the development of the overall ASEAN – Australia relationship, including the recent meeting between the ASEAN Committee on Trade and Tourism and Australia trade officials, They both noted the increasing significance of the economic relationship and the potential for further growth. Both leaders expressed satisfaction with the steady development of collaboration under the ASEAN Australia Economic Cooperation Programme.
  7. 7. The Forum reviewed the international economic outlook. Attention was focussed on the significant imbalances evident in the international economy and the impediments to world economic growth, especially the problem of protectionism and charging patterns of investment. The impact on regional economics of declining prices of commodities, particularly oil, was also discussed. Delegates emphasised the importance of effectively presenting regional concerns to the participants in the Tokyo Economic Summit in May 1986.
  8. 8. Delegations discussed the growth and pattern of two way trade between Australia and ASEAN and agreed that there was scope for improvement. ASEAN expressed some apprehension about the potential effect on their exports to Australia of the revised Australian System of Tariff Preferences which is to come into operation from 1 July 1986. The Australian side took note of the concerns that ASEAN would like to see taken into consideration in the current review of Australia’s antidumping policy and the Industries Assistance Commission inquiry into the textiles, clothing and footwear industry. The Trade and Investment Promotion Programme was considered by delegations to have been working well and ASEAN requested the continuation of the IIPP for a further three years at a higher level of funding after the expiry of the present three year programme. Australia re-affirmed its continuing commitment to the regional consultative process on multilateral trade issues.
  9. 9. In addition to approval for the new projects under the AAECP announced by Mr. Hayden, AustraIia agreed to a Transport Planning and Management Course as well as seed funding for new initiatives in Materials Processing, Food Data Networking and Biotechnology. The funding of these activities will take the total Australian commitment to ASEAN regional co-operative projects to approximately $100 million.
  10. 10. A review of the overall programme of AAECP projects was considered by the meeting to determine guidelines on future priorities. The meeting also discussed the need for an overall review of the dialogue, with the aim of providing directions for future collaboration between ASEAN and Australia.
  11. The ASEAN delegations expressed their appreciation for the hospitality and assistance provideo to the Forum by the Australian delegation.
  12. It was agreed that the Eleventh Forum would take place in Manila in approximately twelve months time.