Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » ASEAN, Australia hold forum on bilateral trade cooperation

Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Australian representatives recently held a dialogue on future areas of economic and trade cooperation to strengthen bilateral relations and hasten ASEAN connectivity.

At the 24th ASEAN-Australia Forum held in Canberra on September 6, 2011, the forum expressed appreciation for Australia’s continued support for ASEAN’s economic integration through the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II (AADCPII) and the Economic Cooperation Support Program for the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

The forum called for the fast-tracking of the further liberalization of regional trade and investment by reducing impediments to the AANZFTA through outreach efforts to raise awareness of its benefits.

The participants also welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN-Australia Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) and supported its early convening. The JCC is a new consultative mechanism that will review the strategic direction of ASEAN-Australia development cooperation.

“The JCC will be a separate but complementary platform to existing management arrangements for activities under the AADCPII and AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program,” said forum co-chair Gillian Bird, Ambassador to ASEAN and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia, in a press statement.

Also acknowledged was Australia’s ongoing support for the ASEAN connectivity initiative, which includes earmarking A$292 million in funding as announced by Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the 2010 ASEAN-Australia Summit as well as promoting private-public partnerships in connection with the regional integration.

The forum also touched on the upcoming 40th anniversary of Australia-ASEAN relations in 2014 and ways to commemorate the occasion.

The participants agreed to hold the 25th ASEAN-Australia Forum in October 2012 in the Philippines.


Photo by Aidan Jones

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