1. The Fourth Meeting of the ASEAN-Australia Forum was held in Canberra on 30-31 October 1978 to review developments in ASEAN-Australia relations.
  2. The ASEAN Delegations were led by Mr. Kassim Hussein, Director-General, ASEAN- Malaysia; Mr. Umariadi Njotowijono, Director- General ASEAN-Indonesia; Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo, Director-General, ASEAN-Philippines; W. Tan Boong Seng, Director-General ASEAN- Singapore; and . Thep Devakul, Director-General ASEAN-Thailand. Datuk Ali Bin Abdullah, Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat was also present. Mr. Kassim Hussein, Leader of the Malaysian Delegation, was the Spokesman of the ASEAN Delegation. The Australian Delegation was led by Mr. A.R. Parsons, Deputy-Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs.
  3. The Hon. Andrew Peacock M.P. Minister for Foreign Affairs, officially opened the meeting and welcomed the ASEAN Delegations on behalf of the Australian Government.
  4. In his opening address the Minister spoke of the importance of ASEAN and his hope that the meeting would be a further step in the development of understanding and cooperation between ASEAN and Australia and would strengthen the relationship in the future.
  5. The Meeting noted with satisfaction the progress that had been achieved in the joint Projects under the ASEAN-Australia Economic Cooperation Program, particularly, the following:
    1. The Food Handling Project;
    2. Protein Project; and
    3. Project on Education;
  6. The Meeting considered future elements of the program and agreed on the extension and expansion of the ongoing Food Handling and Protein Projects. The Meeting agreed to convene an ASEAN-Australia Education Experts meeting to discuss the Project on Education. The Meeting also looked forward to the early implementation of both a Management and Utilization of Food Waste Materials Project and a Population Program.
  7. Within the context of the Programme, the Meeting welcomed proposals for consultations between ASEAN and Australia on energy issues and for cooperation in research and development on Non-Conventional Energy. It was also noted that consultations could cover a wide range of topics and specialist consultative machinery might be established to discuss energy issues.
  8. The Meeting noted the success of the ASEAN-Australia Industrial Cooperation Conference held in Melbourne on 19-21 June 1978 and the ASEAN Trade Fair, held in Sydney on 23-28 October 1978.
  9. ASEAN expressed its appreciation to the Australian Government for organising and sponsoring the recent ASEAN Trade Fair in Sydney. Australia said it would be Prepared to support a continuing trade promotion program for ASEAN member countries which might take the form of major trade displays, participation in specialised trade displays, trade missions, in-store promotions or a combination of these.
  10. The Forum discussed the desirability of holding a second Industrial Cooperation Conference and agreed to examine the matter further. An investment mission to ASEAN and visits by ASEAN businessmen to Australia were also Proposed.
  11. Discussions were held on the development of the ASEAN-Australia joint Research Project announced at the Australian Prime Minister’s meeting with the ASEAN’ Heads of Government in Kuala Lumpur in August 1977.
  12. The Meeting discussed and reached agreement on the arrangements for the Australia-ASEAN Consultative Meetings (AACM), in particular those relating to trade. The Meeting noted that ASEAN and Australia had already approved the terms of reference of the AACM and reached agreement on procedures relating to the operation of the early warning system on possible industry assistance measures by Australia.
  13. It was further agreed that the first meeting of the AACM should take place in Canberra at an early date.
  14. In addition to formal consultative arrangements, every opportunity would be taken by Ministers and at the official level to consult informally or on an ad hoc basis on trade matters. The Meeting agreed to convene as soon as possible an ad hoc working group of trade and other experts to consider the ASEAN Memorandum on ASEAN-Australia Trade Cooperation.
  15. The ASEAN Delegation drew the attention of the Australian Delegation to ASEAN’s view that the new Australia. international civil aviation policy would have serious adverse effects on the further development of ASEAN’s tourism industry and civil aviation. The ASEAN Delegation in their representations stated that none of the ASEAN member countries should be disadvantaged by any new arrangements to be introduced by the civil aviation authorities of Australia.
  16. The new Australian aviation policy was explained to the ASEAN delegates. The Australian Delegation said that the primary objective of the new policy was to develop in concert with other countries air services providing for the lowest possible fares on all routes to and from Australia, on the basis of regular scheduled services. It looked forward to continuing detailed discussions with the ASEAN member countries bilaterally as well as within the framework of the AACM.
  17. The Forum supported moves towards the early establishment of formal links between the Confederation of Australian Industry and the ASEAN Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
  18. The Australian Delegation was briefed on the status of the ASEAN regional industrial projects. Australia repeated the offer it made in 1977 to cooperate in these projects within the skills and resources available in Australia. Australia indicated its willingness to make available lending and guarantee facilities through the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) to Australian businessmen interested in being associated with the projects.
  19. The Meeting noted the serious international humanitarian problem posed by the presence of Indo-Chinese refugees in ASEAN countries and agreed that ASEAN countries and Australia would continue to cooperate in seeking improved international responses to the problem.
  20. It was agreed that the next meeting of the Australia-ASEAN Forum be held next year at a place and date to be decided.
  21. The Delegates from Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia expressed their sincere and warm appreciation to the Government and people of Australia for the facilities accorded them and the efficient arrangements made for the meeting.