1. The Seventh Meeting of the ASEAN Australia Forum was held in Penang, Malaysia, on the 26th and 27th October 19,82 to review developments in ASEAN Australia relations and to explore areas where ASEAN Australia relations could be further intensified.
  2. The ASEAN Delegations were led by Mr. Atmono Suryo, Director-General, ASEAN – Indonesia; Mr. Mohd. Yusof Hitam, Director- General, ASEAN – Malaysia; Mr. Sime Hidalgo, Director-General, ASEAN – Philippines; Mr. Tan Keng Jin, Director-General, ASEAN – Singapore; and Mr. Tej Bunnag, Acting Director-General, ASEAN Thailand. The Australian Delegation was led by Mr. A.R. Parsons, Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs. Chan Kai Yau, Secretary-General and members of the ASEAN Secretariat, also attended the Meeting.
  3. Mr. Mohd. Yusof Hitam, leader of the Malaysian Delegation, was the Spokesman of the ASEAN Delegation.
  4. In his Opening Address, the Honourable Minister of information, Mr. Adib bin Hj. Adam welcomed the, ASEAN and Australia. Delegations on behalf of the Malaysian Government. He said that ASEAN – Australia relations had grown tremendously in recent years to encompass many fields of national and regional importance such as trade and commerce, science and technology, education and training, transport and communications and other areas. In future years, as the Pacific area became a region of greater importance in the global contest, ASEAN – Australia relations would assume a vital role.
  5. The Minister also expressed satisfaction in the progress made on implementation of projects currently undertaken under the ASEAN – Australia Economic Cooperation Programme (AA-ECP).
  6. In conclusion the Minister urged greater private sector collaboration between ASEAN and Australia.
  7. The Forum considered and adopted the Third Report of the ASEAN – Australia Consultative Meeting (AACM), which had met on four occasions since the Sixth Forum Meeting in April 1981. The activities of the Special Working Groups on Trade and Development Cooperation and most recently the Working Group on Energy, provide a focus for the deliberations of the AACM and a regular channel for strengthening the exchange of views and information. The Forum welcomed the formation of the Working Group on Energy Cooperation in Canberra which as approved by the 11th AACM on 29 June 1982. The Forum commended the AACM for its work.
  8. The Forum welcomed the progress that had been achieved in the Projects under the ASEAN – Australia Economic Cooperation Programme (AAECP) and expressed satisfaction at the increase in the total commitment under the AAECP from AS 34.5 million to AS 56.7 million. Several of these projects related to the important food and agricultural sector, namely the ASEAN Food Handling Project, the ASEAN Protein Project and the ASEAN Food Waste Materials Project, and were developing in a complementary way. The Forum agreed to the request for additional funds amounting to AS 9.75 million for the implementation of the ASEAN Food Handling Project from FY 1982/1983 to FY 1984/1985. The Forum also agreed to the 5 year extension at a cost of AS 5 million to the ASEAN Food Waste to initiate the ASEAN Food Technology Research and Development Project. An extension of AS 1.8 million for the Protein Project for the next 3 years was also agreed to. It was noted that these Projects have made a valuable and practical contribution to development efforts of ASEAN countries in these fields.
  9. The Forum welcomed the significant progress made in the ASEAN – Australia joint Research Project, the objective of which is to establish a sound basis for the development of , long term economic relationship between ASEAN and Australia. The Meeting noted that the first reports were now almost ready for publication
  10. The Forum expressed satisfaction at the progress made in the ASEAN Education Project, the ASEAN Consumer Protection Project and the ASEAN Population Project.
  11. The Forum noted the positive and enthusiastic response from Australia with regard to the energy proposals. This augured well for continuing and expanding ASEAN – Australia energy cooperation. A new initial commitment of AS 3.2 million has been made for energy projects over the next 3 years.
  12. The Forum welcomed Australia’s agreement to the project proposals under the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies of regional projects in industry, minerals and energy. The Forum endorsed specific project proposals, namely, a Study on the Exploration, Benefaction and Marketing of Kaolin and the Study on Benefaction, Utilisation and Marketing of low grade Barite for the Chemical Industry.
  13. The Forum had a wide-ranging discussion on trade issues, which also covered the balance of trade between ASEAN and Australia, Australia’s policy concerning textiles clothing, and footwear industries, aspects of the Australian System of Tariff Preferences (ASTP), trade promotion activities and international protectionism.
  14. The Forum felt that continuing efforts to strengthen and diversify trade between ASEAN and Australia should among other measures include a more precise identification of products for which trade potential exists.
  15. The Forum welcomed Australia’s proposal to establish a Special Visits Scheme, with an initial allocation of A$ 150,000. The Scheme will facilitate access to training institutions in Australia by technicians from ASEAN, as well as scientists, businessmen and academics.
  16. The Forum noted with appreciation that Australia regards the growth, strength and maturity of ASEAN as one of the success stories in today’s troubled world and commended Australia’s strong support of ASEAN as a vital factor in contributing to peace and stability in the region.
  17. The Forum took note that the Third ASEAN Trade Fair would be held in Perth in April 1983, during a special “ASEAN Week in Perth”.
  18. The Forum also noted that successful meetings of the ASEAN – Australia Business Council had been held since the last Forum in 1981. The Forum commended the Council for its activities and expressed its belief that the establishment of economic links between ASEAN and Australia depend on a great extent on cooperation between commercial interests and with both sides taking advantage of expanding opportunities.
  19. The ASEAN and Australian Delegations expressed sincere. and warm appreciation to the Government and people of Malaysia for the hospitality accorded them and the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.
  20. The Meeting was held in a spirit of friendship and mutual cooperation.