(KPL/VNA) – Melissa Conley Tyler, Honorary Fellow of the Asia Institute under the University of Melbourne, has highlighted economic cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia in her recent article published on the website The Conversation.
Melissa Conley Tyler, Honorary Fellow of the Asia Institute under the
University of Melbourne, has highlighted economic cooperation between the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia in her recent
article published on the website The Conversation.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has released the country's Southeast
Asia Economic Strategy to 2040, which sets a more active government role in
promoting trade and investment links.
Australia is using all elements of statecraft to build strong defence,
diplomacy and development relationships with a crucial region, there’s a gap
where economic activity should be. This strategy aims to redress that,” the
region's 687 million people and expanding middle class, Australia’s level of
economic engagement with Southeast Asia has remained stubbornly low, the author
statistics showing Australia’s direct investment in New Zealand is more than in
the whole of dynamic Southeast Asia.
as a whole is forecast to average growth of 4% to 2040. This means it will
become the world’s fourth-largest economy by 2040, after the United States,
China and India,” she noted.
governments have actually been trying for a long time to get Australian
businesses interested in Southeast Asia, she said, adding that there has been a
trade agreement in place with ASEAN since 2010, which was recently upgraded.
recent years, Australia’s investment in Southeast Asia has been going down
rather than up, against global trends.
greater economic engagement is not happening naturally, the new strategy sets
out a much more active role for government in helping companies diversify into
Southeast Asia,” the article noted, adding the strategy is not only exhorting
Australian businesses to do better, but also sets out ways government can
actively remove blockages and lessen risks.
sees a role for government in providing seed funding. For example, working with
industry to fund a Southeast Asia research grants scheme and establishing a
targeted program to support Australian First Nations businesses to increase
trade and investment with the region,” Tyler continued.
important area of infrastructure – where Southeast Asia will require an
estimated 3 trillion USD in investment to 2040 – it suggests Australia can play
a role in early-stage project preparation.
To give a
sense of the untapped potential, currently only 250 exporters make up 90% of
Australia’s merchandise exports to Southeast Asia. There is a lot of room for
other companies to get involved.
will gain strategic benefits from stronger economic engagement with Southeast
Asia. Imagine the change in relations if Australia became a key partner in the
region’s green economy transition or in building much-needed infrastructure.
This would transform the way the region and Australia view each other,” article