1. The Eighth ASEAN-Australia Forum as held in Canberra on 18-19 January 1984. The Meeting marked the tenth anniversary of the establisbment of regular discussions between Australia and ASEAN. It as held in the traditional spirit of positive cooperation and as attended by delegations from all ASEAN countries, Brunei Indonesia, Malaysia the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. This was the first international meeting of ASEAN which Brunei had attended since joining ASEAN on 7 January 1984.
  2. The Meeting was opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bill Hayden. A message to the meeting from the Chairman of the ASEAN Standing Committee, the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Dr. Mochtar Kusumaatmadja, as read on his behalf by the Chairman of the ASEAN Canberra Committee, H.E. Ambassador Jetn Sucharitkul.
  3. Both Ministers drew attention to the value of close economic and technical cooperation between Australia and ASEAN. They noted the success of on-going projects under the ASEAN – Australia Economic Cooperation Pogramme.
  4. The Australian Delegation as led by Mr. D.G. Nutter, Acting Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs. The leader of the Malaysiai Delegation, Mr. Mohamed Yusof Hitam, acced as ASEAN Spokesman and Co-Chairman.
  5. The meeting reviewed the current international economic situation and expressed the hope that the trend towards international economic recovery would continue. The ASEAN Delegations pressed concern at hat as seen as a tendency towards increasing protectionism especially in regard to agicultural products, on the part of some deeloped countries. The ASEAN Delegations noted increasing economic inter-dependence between naations and called on the international community to return to multilateralism as a basis for ecoomic cooperation.
  6. A further Australian commitment was announced of $30.36 million to permit the continuation of on-going projects (Population, Trade, the ASEAN Food Handling Bureau) and to fund new initiatives proposed by ASEAN. This will take the totaI Australian commitment to ASEAN aid projects to apporoximately $87 million. An extension costing $6 million over four years has been approved for the Population Project. New projects such as Food Habits, Diabetes Research and Prevention, Forestry, Management of Science and Technology Training and the ASEAN Special Visits Schce were considered by the meeting. The SpeciaI Visits Scheme will facilitate access to traning institutions in Australia by technicians from ASEAN, as well as scientists, businessmen, academics and social workers. It is also designed to increase people to people contact, as are other ASEAN proposaIs to increase cultural and information exchanges.
  7. The Meeting noted that particular success had been achieved in Food-Related Projects which comprise over 50% of the total ASEAN – Australia Economic Cooperation Programme. The largest of these, the Food Handling Project, is designed to reduce food losses by improved transportation, distribution and storage procedures. The first publications were received from the Joint Research Project which is examining areas of importance in the future economic relationship between ASEAN and Australia.
  8. There as also detailed discussion of bilateral trade between Australia ad ASEAN members. Mutual satisfaction as expressed with the continuing growth of two-way trade despite the difficult world trading environment. ASEAN noted that Australia still enjoyed a favourable trade balance in merchandise and in that context, presented requests for Australian action to facilitate improved access to the Australian market for a range of ASEAN products. The ASEAN countries expressed interest in the current Australian Government review of the Australian System of Tariff Preferences and pressed for a continuation of the Trade and Investment Promotion Programme. The Australian side assured the ASEAN countries that their views were well understood and would be taken into consideration.
  9. The ASEAN Delegations expressed their appreciation for the hospitally and assistance provided to the Forum by the Australian Delegation and Government.
  10. It was agreed that the next meeting would be held in an ASEAN country at a date to be mutually agreed upon.