Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull makes opening remarks (Source: smh.com.au)

Sydney (VNA) – The first ASEAN-Australia Special Summit opened in Sydney on March 16, in the presence of Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and leaders of ASEAN nations including Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

Themed “Enhancing Regional Security and Prosperity”, the event is expected to discuss issues related to regional security, economic relations as well as counter-terrorism measures so as to further tighten the relationship between Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The ASEAN-Australia Business Summit, the International Counter-Terrorism Conference and a plenary meeting of senior leaders are scheduled to take place within the framework of the three-day event.

Leaders of ASEAN and Australia will adopt a Sydney Statement, a joint declaration of the summit and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on anti-terrorism cooperation between ASEAN and the Australian Government.

In addition, Australia and ASEAN nations are expected to sign a dozen of MoUs, initiatives and projects on cooperation in fighting terrorism and human trafficking, the establishment of dialogue mechanism on cyber policy, maritime collaboration, economic cooperation and e-commerce criteria, and building smart cities.

PM Phuc is expected to deliver three speeches, with the focus on ASEAN-Australia cooperation, including enhancing regional security and prosperity; ASEAN-Australia economic partnership and regional maritime cooperation.

ASEAN and Australia set up relations in 1974. Australia was the first nation establishing official dialogue partnership with ASEAN in all three fields of politics, economics and specialised cooperation.

The two sides organised the ASEAN-Australia Commemorative Summit to mark the 40th anniversary of bilateral ties in 2014, during which they agreed to lift the ties to a strategic partnership level.

In 2016, ASEAN and Australia organised the first Biennial Summit in Laos, agreeing that the first ASEAN-Australia Special Summit would take place in Australia in March 2018.

During the summit, security in Sydney city has been strengthened.-VNA