JAKARTA, 19 June 2017 – ASEAN and Australia reaffirmed their strong determination to further strengthen the strategic partnership.  Both sides underscored this commitment at the 7th ASEAN-Australia Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting, held on 16 June at the ASEAN Secretariat.

ASEAN and Australia agreed to work together in promoting peace, security and prosperity in the region as well as addressing regional challenges.

ASEAN expressed appreciation to Australia for its strong support for ASEAN Centrality, as well as for ASEAN integration efforts through the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. Australia will continue to deepen cooperation and consultations within the ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus to promote peace and stability in the region.

The meeting highlighted the progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN-Australia Plan of Action (2015-2019) across all ASEAN Community pillars. Australia also reaffirmed its commitment to support ASEAN integration through the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme Phase II with a total contribution up to AUD 57.8 million. ASEAN looked forward to Australia’s continued support to the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan III.

Noting the importance of economic linkages between both sides, the meeting lauded the achievements made under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and its Economic Cooperation Support Programme.  It also welcomed the commencement of the General Review of AANZFTA in making it more business friendly.

Both sides exchanged views on the future direction of ASEAN-Australia Dialogue Relations and noted the importance of enhancing cooperation in strategic areas such as counter-terrorism, cyber security, trade and investment, development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, sustainable infrastructure, supply chains, and tourism.

ASEAN and Australia looked forward to the convening of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney on 17-18 March 2018, which will be preceded by a Counter-Terrorism Conference and a Business Summit.  Preparations are underway to ensure concrete outcomes so as to further enhance the strategic partnership in the years to come.

Co-chaired by Ambassador Min Lwin, Permanent Representative of Myanmar to ASEAN, and Australia Ambassador to ASEAN, Elizabeth Jane Duke, the meeting was attended by the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN Member States and representatives of the ASEAN Secretariat.

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