2024 ASEAN-Australia special summit to celebrate 50 years of partnership

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will host leaders of ASEAN and Timor-Leste for the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne from 4-6 March. 2024 marks 50 years since Australia became ASEAN’s first external partner.

Australia has strong and far-reaching ties with the region. We are connected by families, friends, education and business.

As a bloc, ASEAN is Australia’s second largest two-way trading partner. More than one million Australians have Southeast Asian heritage.

During the Special Summit, Leaders will discuss bolstering ASEAN-Australia cooperation, our vision for the region’s future and how we can work together to address shared challenges. A focus of the discussions will be on Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040, a blueprint for stepping up Australia’s economic links with the region, launched by Prime Minister Albanese in September last year.

Preceding the Leaders’ engagement, there will be a range of meetings and events across four thematic Tracks that will bring together Australians and Southeast Asian business and community leaders, experts and academics to discuss:

  • Boosting economic engagement;
  • Supporting an accelerated clean energy transition;
  • Increasing practical maritime cooperation; and
  • Supporting the region’s current crop of emerging leaders.

In addition to the Special Summit, Prime Minister Albanese is honoured to host official Guest of Government programs with a number of Southeast Asian leaders:

  • HE Ferdinand Marcos Jr, President of the Philippines;
  • The Hon Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia;
  • HE Mr Sonexay Siphandone, Prime Minister of the Lao PDR; and
  • HE Mr Pham Minh Chính, Prime Minister of Vietnam.

The Prime Minister will also hold the Australia-Singapore Annual Leaders Meeting with the Prime Minister of Singapore, HE Mr Lee Hsien Loong. He will have bilateral meetings with the leaders of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Timor-Leste and with the ASEAN Secretary-General.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said:

“Australia is proud to be ASEAN’s first Dialogue Partner, sharing 50 years of mutual respect and cooperation with our friends in Southeast Asia.

“Building Australia’s links with the countries of Southeast Asia is a priority for the Government.

“The Special Summit commemorates our shared history and focuses firmly on the future – on how we can deepen our ties and Australia’s engagement with our region.

“Australia sees ASEAN at the centre of a stable, peaceful, and prosperous region. Strengthening our relationship ensures our shared future prosperity and security.

“I look forward to welcoming my counterparts to Australia to discuss the shared challenges facing our region, opportunities to enhance our prosperity and how we can build on our strong relationships.”

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