Welcome to the website of the Australian Mission to ASEAN! The Mission is responsible for advancing Australia’s interests with ASEAN. It was established in September 2013 in Jakarta, headquarters of the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives.
Australia sees ASEAN at the heart of the Indo-Pacific. The organisation and its members are vital to Australia’s interests. Considered as a bloc, ASEAN is our second largest trading partner. We are neighbours, connected by deep links between families, communities, educational institutions and businesses. ASEAN is the primary norm-setting body in this region. And it has unmatched convening power, bringing together all the key players in the Indo-Pacific through its architecture. Australia is a steadfast supporter of ASEAN centrality and the regional architecture it leads.
Australia has worked closely with ASEAN over the decades, since we became its first Dialogue Partner in 1974. We collaborate closely on major ASEAN-led arrangements, such as the region’s premier leaders’ forum (the East Asia Summit), in the regional foreign and defence ministers’ fora, (the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN-Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus), and, of course, on the region’s trade and economic agenda.
We opened a new chapter in our relations in October 2021, when ASEAN and Australia made the historic decision to establish a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP). The Mission is now strongly focused on working with ASEAN partners to implement the CSP, including the establishment of a new package of ‘Australia for ASEAN’ initiatives in support.
This will build on Australia’s existing cooperation with ASEAN, which spans ASEAN’s three pillars: Economic; Socio-Cultural; and Political-Security.
Under the Economic pillar, we are supporting work on Digital Trade Standards, connectivity and sustainable infrastructure. We are also supporting the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement – the largest free trade agreement in the world, and working to update our regional free trade agreement with ASEAN and New Zealand.
Under the Socio-Cultural Pillar, we are contributing to the regional response to the pandemic by supporting ASEAN’s health security programs, promoting safe and fair labour migration across the region, and bolstering ASEAN bodies’ capacity to respond to human-induced crises.
And under the Political-Security Pillar, we are working with partners to counter human trafficking and supporting ASEAN’s agenda on women’s empowerment and Women, Peace and Security.
We hope you find this website useful for exploring the breadth and depth of Australia’s partnership with ASEAN.