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Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Why ASEAN matters: our shared prosperity

Expanding our trade and investment will help secure our future prosperity.

The ASEAN region has immense economic potential and it is already a large market for Australian companies. Our $113.7 billion two-way trade with ASEAN exceeds our trade with Japan or the United States. Our two-way investment with ASEAN in 2019 was over $259 billion.

The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), complemented by our bilateral FTAs with Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, is a pathway for Australian business to tap into ASEAN.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) is a regional free trade agreement that will complement and build upon Australia’s existing free trade agreements with 14 other Indo-Pacific countries. It is a modern and comprehensive free trade agreement covering trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation. It also creates new rules for electronic commerce, intellectual property, government procurement, competition, and small and medium sized enterprises.

At the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March 2018, the Australian Government announced the ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Standards joint initiative. The initiative provides a framework for Australia and ASEAN countries to cooperate in developing, adopting and using international standards that promote digital trade and support inclusive economic growth in the region. Australia and ASEAN countries are committed to ensuring our region can reap the full economic and social benefits of joining the digital economy. Read more about the Digital Trade Standards initiative.

Over five years, Australia will help ASEAN develop cities across Southeast Asia in smart and sustainable ways. With a $30 million investment, Australia will provide training and technical assistance to build resilient and competitive communities, including through the development of an ASEAN Smart Cities Network. For more information, see the Special Summit webpage.

Learn more about our trade and investment with ASEAN in this ASEAN fact sheet [PDF].

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