Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
Video: Launch of ASEAN Now
Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, The Hon Steven Ciobo MP, introduces the ASEAN Now report launched in Sydney, 12 December 2017.
Transcript of video
As the title of this publication suggests, there are considerable opportuniites for Australian businesses who are now in ASEAN.
ASEAN's growth outpaces global averages, and taken as a whole, ASEAN is expected to grow above 5.4 per cent each year, for the next decade and beyond.
From the financial powerhouse of Singapore, to the rapidly emerging markets such as Indonesia and Vietnam, ASEAN is a diverse and exciting regional economy.
In just over a decade, ASEAN is predicted to be the fourth largest economy in the world. Increasingly, it's a natural partner for Australia's service-driven economy. And by 2030, half of ASEAN's young and digitally literate population will live in cities with disposable incomes ready to buy quality food, beverages and services.
What's more ASEAN will be the world's fastest-growing e-commerce market, and Australia is well placed to travel with ASEAN on this terrific journey of growth, both now and into the future.
ASEAN countries want what Australia has to offer. In particular, what we can offer in services such as in aviation, health care, e-commerce, professional services, as well as agribusiness, tourism and hospitality, and the quality engineering and smart and sustainable cities that we can share our intellectual property with.
Despite some areas of concern, Australian businesses tell me that they are confident about the prospects in ASEAN markets. We have strong people-to-people links with ASEAN, and nearly one million Australians claim ancestral ties with an ASEAN country, as well as speak an ASEAN language.
Since 2014, the Government has supported some 13,600 scholarships under the New Colombo Plan. These scholarships are for young Australians to undertake study and to work in ASEAN countries.
Australia has welcomed more than 1.3 million visitors from ASEAN in 2016 and 17. They come here to holiday, to visit family, to do business, study or indeed to work.
Through government and business enterprise, we can forge a stronger, integrated regional economy of benefit to us all, driving continued growth and stability.
Australia's existing regional free trade agreements, with ASEAN, as well as bilateral free trade agreements with Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, already give us a competitive edge. The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement as well as, of course, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which I hope will be concluded in the near future, will level the playing field even further, and create more market access for Australian businesses.
Next March, Sydney will host the historic ASEAN-Australia Special Summit which will take our relationship with ASEAN and our business-to-business links even further.
It will also include a Business Summit to help deepen the commercial ties between Australia and the ASEAN region.
ASEAN Now will be an important document to inform all of our conversations, and I absolutely commend it to you all.