The ASEAN-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
On 27 October 2021, at the first annual ASEAN-Australia Summit, Australia and ASEAN opened a new chapter in our relationship when our leaders made the historic decision to establish a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP). This milestone decision was a new step for ASEAN, and marked a step-change in our partnership.
Australia is now strongly focused on implementing our CSP, including the new package of ‘Australia for ASEAN’ initiatives designed to support it. Valued at A$154 million over ten years, the package represents the largest-ever increase in Australia’s development cooperation program with ASEAN.
An Australia for ASEAN Futures Initiative will fund projects jointly identified by ASEAN and Australia. These will focus on issues like ensuring our shared health security as we recover from the pandemic, combatting transnational crime and terrorism, making sure workforces have the skills they need as economies evolve, ensuring energy security, protecting our oceans and building circular economies.
100 Australia for ASEAN scholarships will support emerging ASEAN leaders to study in Australia.
And an Australia for ASEAN Digital Transformation and Future Skills Initiative will support 350 vocational education and training scholarships, as well as technical assistance partnerships between Australian and ASEAN institutions, and a new skills policy dialogue.
For Australia, a CSP is about delivering substance, to the benefit of ASEAN, Australia and the region. It sends a strong signal of Australia’s commitment to ASEAN and its central role in the Indo-Pacific. Our CSP provides ASEAN and Australia with a framework for deepening our cooperation, and positions our partnership for the future.