Sunday, August 20, 2017 - 5:43:41

Australia-ASEAN Council launched

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Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop (Photo:smh.com.au)
Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop has recently announced the launch of the Australia-ASEAN Council (AAC) at the Parliament House in Canberra.

The Australian Government’s initiative aims to strengthen ties with Southeast Asian nations.

In her announcement, the minister stated that Southeast Asia is one of the most strategic and economic region in the world with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of about 2.5 trillion USD, comprising about 620 million people. 

About 15 percent of the country’s total trade is with the ten ASEAN nations with bilateral trade accounting for around 100 billion AUD in 2014, she added.

The Minister highlighted the launch of the AAC will cement ties between the two sides while consolidating partnerships through stronger links in trade, education, science, art and culture. The council will coordinate closely with the New Colombo Plan networks and the Australia Alumni to create more favourable conditions for connections between the two sides’ individuals and organisations.

The AAC aims to catapult Australia into ASEAN countries through proposing and supporting knowledge, understanding and relations between people and institutions in Australia and ASEAN members with a view to creating opportunities for both sides.-VNA
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