Australian Mission to ASEAN

Cooperation programs

Australia’s ASEAN and Mekong Program

Australia has a clear interest in a prosperous, peaceful and secure Southeast Asia in which countries cooperate to resolve common problems.  Australia’s ASEAN and Mekong Program works with countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)[1], to promote inclusive regional economic growth and to combat human trafficking and the exploitation of migrant workers. It complements Australia’s country specific development programs by facilitating a regional response to important economic and cross-border challenges. Since 2005, we have committed over $530 million on regional programs in Southeast Asia.

What we do

1) Promote inclusive regional economic growth and cooperation

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

Key investments

(all figures in AUD as at April 2017)

Description

Countries of implementation

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

$57 million (2008-2019)

AADCP II supports ASEAN Member States to implement the ASEAN Economic Community through high quality economic research and policy advice 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)

$26.5 million (2010-2018)

AECSP helps ASEAN countries implement AANZFTA, maximise its benefits 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, Lao PDR and Myanmar

Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations Program (SHIFT)

$9.9 million (2014-2018)

SHIFT helps low income people, particularly women, use well-regulated and affordable financial services for productive activities such as pay-as-you go solar power systems andlow-cost digital and credit savings products.

Implemented across Cambodia, Lao PDR , Myanmar and Vietnam

Mekong Business Initiative (MBI)

$13.8 million (2013-2018)

MBI works with Mekong countries to develop the private sector by improving the business environment for micro, small and medium enterprises to, access capital and do business in global markets.

Implemented across Cambodia, Lao PDR , Myanmar and Vietnam

Greater Mekong Subregion Trade and Transport Facilitation (GMS TTF) Program

$6 million (2010-2017)

GMS TTF provides technical support to improve cross-border operations. This contributes to cheaper, faster and easier movement of passengers and goods.

Implemented across Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and southern China

Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) Capacity Building Program

$1.5 million (2015-2018)

Funding under this investment helps ERIA link economic research to regional policy-making and practice.

Implemented across Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam

Australia’s Greater Mekong Water Resources Program

$30 million (2014-2019)

The Greater Mekong Water Resources Program works to support more equitable, transparent and effective water resources management, and contributes to water, food, and energy security and sustainable economic development in South-East Asia.

Implemented across Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and southern China

 

2) Combatting human trafficking and the exploitation of migrant workers

Our ASEAN and Mekong Program works with countries across ASEAN to counter human trafficking and facilitate safe and legal migration for the benefit of the whole region. We work in partnership 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 supports the effective investigation and prosecution of human trafficking crimes and facilitates cooperation within and between ASEAN member states.

Implemented across Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore involved in regional activities

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

$20 million (2015-2025)

TRIANGLE in ASEAN promotes safe and legal migration in the region by providing information and services to migrant workers on their rights, and by supporting ASEAN countries and institutions to strengthen labour migration policies and legislation.

Implemented across Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore involved in regional activities

Preventing the Exploitation of Migrant Women Workers in ASEAN Project

$2 million (2014-2017)

This project works to prevent the exploitation of women migrant workers by making evidence-based policy options available to ASEAN policy makers.

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 ASEAN and Mekong Program is implemented across ASEAN.

Priority countries for economic development investments are Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Investments in human security focus on Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Key partners

ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat, the Asian Development Bank, the Consortium of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the International Labour Organization, the Mekong River Commission, Oxfam Australia, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, UN Women and the private sector. Refer to DFAT’s website for a full list of partners.

Contact

 The ASEAN and Mekong Program is implemented by Australia’s Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta, its Regional Office in Bangkok, and the Australian Embassy in Vientiane.

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.