Australian Mission to ASEAN

Cooperation programs

Australia’s Southeast Asia Regional Aid Program

Australia has a clear interest in a prosperous, peaceful and secure Southeast Asia in which countries cooperate to resolve common problems.  Australia’s Regional Aid Program in Southeast Asia supports regional economic growth and helps combat the exploitation and trafficking of migrants. Working with countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)[1], Australia aims to facilitate a regional response to these important economic and cross-border challenges. By focusing on these challenges, Australia can ensure that our most highly valued commitments to ASEAN countries are met.

What we do

1) Enabling regional economic cooperation and inclusive growth

Our regional aid program supports the ASEAN regional economic integration agenda, contributes to the development of the private sector and expansion of financial markets, and helps better manage and develop the Mekong region’s water resources.

Key investments

(all figures in AUD)

Description

Countries of implementation

ASEAN–Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II (AADCP II)

$57 million (2008-2019)

AADCP II supports the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community by providing high quality economic research and policy advice to ASEAN countries in key sectors: investment, trade in services, consumer protection, connectivity, agriculture and financial integration.

Implemented across all ASEAN countries

ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) Economic Cooperation Support Program (AECSP)

$26.3 million (2010-2018)

AECSP assists ASEAN countries to maximise the implementation and benefits of AANZFTA and advance economic integration through targeted capacity building activities and funding of an AANZFTA Support Unit within the ASEAN Secretariat.

Implemented across all ASEAN countries, with a focus on Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar

Shaping Financial Inclusion Transformations Program (SHIFT)

$8.8 million (2014-2017)

SHIFT helps low income people, particularly women, access and use well-regulated and affordable financial services for productive activities, such as starting or expanding a business, saving for school fees, insuring against crop failure or remitting money to households.

Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam

Mekong Business Initiative (MBI)

$13.2 million (2013-2018)

MBI works with countries of the Mekong region to expand the size of the private sector by improving the regulatory environment for small to medium enterprises to grow, access capital and do business in global markets.

Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam

Trade and Transport Facilitation (TTF) in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)

$6 million (2010-2016)

TTF contributes to cheaper, faster and easier cross-border movement of passengers and goods to improve regional trade in the GMS.

Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and southern China

Suport to Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) 

$1 million (2015-2017)

A two-year program of capacity-building activities for economic policy-makers in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam based on the findings and expertise of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam

Australia’s Greater Mekong Water Resources Program

$30 million (2014-2018)

By informing and strengthening governance of the region’s waterways, the Greater Mekong Water Resources Program aims to ensure water resources management in the GMS supports economic development that is sustainable, equitable and improves livelihoods.

Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and southern China

 

2) Strengthening regional responses to trafficking and the exploitation of migrant workers

Our regional aid program provides practical support to countries across ASEAN to counter criminal human trafficking networks and facilitate safe and legal migration pathways for the benefit of the whole region. In doing so, we partner with source, transit and destination countries for migration and trafficking.

Key investments

(all figures in AUD)

Description

Countries of implementation

Australia-Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP)

$50 million (2013-2018)

AAPTIP aims to reduce the incentives and opportunities for the trafficking of persons in ASEAN by strengthening the criminal justice responses to trafficking and facilitating cooperation within and between ASEAN member states.

Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam

(Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore involved through regional forums)

Tripartite Action to Enhance the Contribution of Labour Migration to Growth and Development in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (TRIANGLE II)

$20 million (2015-2025)

TRIANGLE II promotes safe and legal migration in the region by helping migrant workers better protect themselves from exploitive practices, and by supporting ASEAN countries to reform their migration policies and legislation.

Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia,  Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam

(Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, and Singapore involved through regional forums)

Preventing the Exploitation of Migrant Women Workers in ASEAN Project

$2 million (2014-2016)

This project aims to prevent the exploitation of women migrant workers by making evidence-based policy options available to ASEAN policy makers and by supporting ASEAN institutions and civil society organisations to undertake advocacy aimed at preventing and eliminating the exploitation of women migrant workers.

Implemented across all ASEAN countries

 
In addition, Australia assists ASEAN to respond to natural disasters in the region, providing $4.6 million from 2010 to 2016. This includes support for the operation of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management and the ongoing implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response.

Where we work

The Southeast Asia Regional Economic Growth and Human Security Program is implemented across ASEAN. Priority countries for economic development investments are Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Investments in human security focus on Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand.

Key partners

Key partners under Australia’s Southeast Asia Regional Aid Program include ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, Cardno Emerging Markets, UN Women, the International Labour Organization, the Consortium of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), eWater, the International Finance Corporation, the Mekong River Commission, the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, and Oxfam Australia. Refer to DFAT’s website for a full list of partners.

Contact

The Southeast Asia Regional Aid Program is implemented by Australia’s Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta, its Subregional Office in Bangkok, and DFAT’s Greater Mekong Water Resources Program in Vientiane. For more information, contact asiaregionalprograms@dfat.gov.au.

Related links and documents


[1] ASEAN comprises Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore. Australia does not have bilateral aid programs in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.