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Appendix B: Suggested implementation timeframe

Recommendations for immediate and medium-term consideration

Raise awareness

2. Establish a new Australia – Southeast Asia business facilitation initiative to undertake targeted sectoral business missions and build the capability of business chambers.

3. Australian Government to work with states and territories, and business to ensure a coordinated approach to promoting Australia, leveraging and building upon the Nation Brand.

4. Appoint special business champions for key markets to promote Southeast Asian opportunities to Australian business.

5. Australian Government to work with the ASEAN Secretariat and business to examine an ASEAN trade, investment and tourism promotion campaign in Australia.

7. Develop a strategy to engage with Australia's Southeast Asian diaspora to inform efforts to deepen SME business links with the region.

25. Pursue a targeted, sustained and modern 'whole-of-nation' agricultural trade and investment advocacy effort to drive growth.

26. Promote Australia's environmental, social and governance credentials along the agrifood supply chain.

34. Promote Australia's capabilities in mining, energy, and METS to support sustainable development in the resources sector in the region.

47. Australian Government to invest in education promotion across Southeast Asia to raise awareness of Australia's offerings and attract more Southeast Asian students.

56. Expand tourism promotion and build industry capability to meet Southeast Asian demand.

57. Australian Government to identify opportunities to help build visitor economy data capability in key tourism authorities in the region.

Remove blockages

10. Australia's Trade 2040 Taskforce, in collaboration with Southeast Asian partners, to review the scope of existing free trade agreements to determine priorities for agreement upgrade negotiations.

11. Expand collaboration on trade rules and standards harmonisation with Southeast Asian partners.

12. Australian Government to implement the Migration Strategy and associated reforms to improve the visa system to facilitate mobility.

27. Advocate for the establishment of ongoing ministerial and senior officials–level engagement on agriculture through ASEAN mechanisms to provide additional forums to reduce barriers to trade.

29. Expand resources for technical expertise and frameworks to support Australian export businesses to comply with new and existing import requirements (for example, environmental sustainability and halal) in Southeast Asian countries.

43. Resource Australian missions in Southeast Asia to work with partner countries to harmonise regulatory frameworks across the region and lift infrastructure standards to de-risk investments.

48. Support expanded offshore delivery of education services through further Australian Government advocacy.

50. Australian and Southeast Asian governments to increase cooperation with professional bodies and education providers on qualifications recognition.

65. Australian Government to work with Southeast Asian partners to expand coverage of ambitious digital trade rules and standards, and promote interoperability through digital trade rules negotiations, advocacy and capacity building.

68. Australian governments to support mutual recognition of professional qualifications, licensing and registration in priority professional services sectors, including through advocacy and grants to professional bodies.

69. Australian governments and Southeast Asian counterparts to work with professional bodies to ensure digitalisation of credentialing and certification of qualifications.

70. Use review mechanisms in Australia's existing free trade agreements with Southeast Asian countries to remove barriers affecting professional and financial services, such as foreign equity and caps restrictions on the composition of boards and residency of board members.

Build capability

14. Extend government-to-government technical assistance to other Southeast Asian countries through a new government-to-government partnerships program and other mechanisms.

15. Explore continuing Australia's capacity-building support on investment screening and extending it to key Southeast Asian countries.

18. Establish a new public and private sector multi-country program to arrange professional exchanges and internships in select industries at the company or organisation level.

19. Increase whole-of-government trade and industry policy and commercial engagement capability in Australia's Southeast Asia diplomatic missions and in Australia to assist Australian businesses to use free trade agreements and deliver market access.

22. Australian Government to strengthen efforts to support SMEs to trade with Southeast Asia, including through greater emphasis on the region in the Export Market Development Grants program.

30. Develop and deepen cooperation on sustainable agrifood systems through existing mechanisms and development programs.

37. Provide institutional capacity building through government-to-government engagement to promote the sustainable development of Southeast Asia's resources sector.

53. Australian Government to encourage universities and vocational education providers to offer work-integrated learning internships as part of course offerings to Southeast Asian students.

54. Australian Government to coordinate a whole-of-nation initiative to better engage alumni, including a scheme for connecting alumni with Australian and Southeast Asian businesses.

58. Government tourism agencies to partner with industry to expand industry-led capability-building initiatives for operators and their employees so that they better understand cultural preferences and expectations of travellers from Southeast Asia.

62. Expand the TGA regulatory strengthening program to build the capacity of regional regulators.

71. Explore opportunities for the Australian Government to work with Southeast Asian partners in harmonising emerging digital cross-border payment systems.

Deepen investment

44. Australian Government to establish a strategic investment facility for Southeast Asian infrastructure projects, utilising Export Finance Australia and other government-supported funding sources.

45. Establish new investment 'deal teams' for Southeast Asia, blending private sector and Australian Government capabilities to provide outward investment (including financing) services.

46. Australian Government to extend Partnerships for Infrastructure and expand into early-stage project preparation support.

55. Australian Government to work with industry to fund a Southeast Asia research grants scheme in areas of mutual interest with Southeast Asia.

67. Australian Government to consider establishing Austrade Landing Pads in Indonesia and Vietnam to support Australian tech companies, similar to Austrade's Landing Pad in Singapore.

Recommendations for longer-term consideration

Raise awareness

1. National Cabinet should consider developing a whole-of-nation plan to strengthen Southeast Asia literacy in Australian business, government, the education and training system, and the community.

6. Survey major Southeast Asian business group interests and facilitate deeper engagement with Australian companies and investment agencies, including their travel and investment.

72. Expand creative industry–focused scholarship or exchange initiatives to create access to a vibrant pool of creative talent in Southeast Asia.

Remove blockages

8. Continue exploring opportunities to reduce regulatory burden under the Foreign Investment Review Board, as the foreign investment framework regime allows, and seek reciprocal action in the region.

9. Establish a single-door concierge service to facilitate inward foreign investment.

13. Australian Government to prioritise updates to air services agreements and explore reciprocal open skies agreements with interested Southeast Asian partners where in the national interest.

28. Deepen engagement with Cairns Group Farm Leaders in the region (Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines).

35. Offer two-way tertiary scholarships in the resources sector to address skills shortages and gender equality, and enhance Southeast Asia's technical capacity.

38. Australia's Treasury should lead expanded work with Southeast Asian partners on high-quality and interoperable sustainable finance classifications and climate-related disclosure rules.

39. Explore establishing standards and regulations to allow for a regional market in low-energy goods, including electricity and carbon, with interested Southeast Asian partners.

49. Australian Government to continue reviewing Australia's education visa settings to ensure they are competitive and fit for purpose to 2040.

59. Australian Government to work with the medical industry to expedite efforts towards recognition or reliance arrangements for Australian-made, TGA-approved medical devices and pharmaceuticals in Southeast Asia.

60. Australian Government to work with industry and regulators to identify and address high-priority non-tariff barriers in the health sector.

Build capability

16. Work with Southeast Asian partners to strengthen legal and policy frameworks on workplace health and safety, environmental standards and modern slavery.

17.Develop a regulatory framework to facilitate intra-regional hybrid training and work mobility programs in high-priority industry sectors.

20. Establish a targeted program to support Australian First Nations businesses to increase trade and investment with the region.

21. Australian Government to facilitate young, female entrepreneur linkages with the region through a greater emphasis in visit and scholarship programs.

31. Expand training programs to support regional farmers on world's best agriculture practices (including water, soil, and broader environment and sustainability practices).

32. Provide long-term support for Southeast Asian trading partners' capacity to address biosecurity threats, including by in-country deployments of specialist technical capabilities.

36. Geoscience Australia to work with counterparts on geological surveys, geological storage, hydrogen and geothermal energy, and resource data in Southeast Asia to enhance transparency and support exploration and investment in mineral deposits.

40. Draw upon regional clean energy supply chain initiatives to support strategic projects involving Australian and Southeast Asian partners in the battery, electric vehicle and solar sectors.

41. Develop a clean energy science and technology engagement strategy to work with regional counterparts on technical challenges to meet net zero.

42. Support industry and education and training providers to develop and promote green qualifications for the Southeast Asian market.

51. Australian Government to expand outbound scholarship and mobility programs to include postgraduates and VET students.

52. Australian governments to seek opportunities for co-financing with universities and sending countries to increase scholarships for Southeast Asian students.

61. Support state and territory governments to work with Australian institutions to develop a health practitioner training program with key Southeast Asian countries.

63. Support regional health policy agencies to build digital health capabilities and policy frameworks, led by CSIRO's Australian e-Health Research Centre.

66. Australian Government to expand the Cyber and Critical Tech Cooperation Program in Southeast Asia to continue building the cyber resilience of the region.

73. Encourage co-productions in the film and digital games industries between Australian and Southeast Asian producers and developers.

Deepen investment

23. Explore the feasibility of new government instruments for reducing risk in investments offshore, including examining political risk insurance.

24. Explore working with multilateral development banks to support the development of more resilient long-term debt markets.

33. Establish an Australian Agriculture Partnership to bring together public and private sector expertise to support agricultural trade cooperation and development in Southeast Asia.

64. Australian diplomatic missions to work with industry to foster stronger connections between medical innovation hubs in Australia and Southeast Asia.

74. Establish a multi-year seed grants program, drawing on public and private sector contributions, for creative industries collaborative projects, such as residencies, between Australia and the region – including Australian artists with Southeast Asian heritage, and First Nations artists.

75. Work with galleries and arts institutions in Southeast Asia to provide access to Australian art, including Indigenous art, from Australian national and state and territory galleries.

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