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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 15975

Joint Press Statement with Ausaid: ASEAN and Australian Advances Cooperation in Economic Integration

Photo of Rudd, Kevin

Rudd, Kevin

Period of Service: 03/12/2007 to 24/06/2010

More information about Rudd, Kevin on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/06/2008

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 15975

ASEAN and Australia commit to advance cooperation in economic integration with the launch of the second phase of ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme (AADCP-II) today. Under the program, Australia will provide A$57 million to ASEAN over the next seven years to support greater economic integration in the region.

Prime Minister of Australia Mr Kevin Rudd said the new program underscored Australia's commitment to engaging with ASEAN.

“Australia is committed to supporting ASEAN's efforts to establish an economic community by 2015 and economic integration is an important step in that process,” Mr Rudd said during the launch of the program at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

“Australia is in a unique position to provide this support,” Mr Rudd said. “We have had the longest partnership with ASEAN, dating back to the 1970s, and we will be the first partner to work within ASEAN Secretariat systems to implement this type of program.”

Under AADCP-II, Australia will provide high-level policy advice, research and implementation support to assist ASEAN to harmonise standards, eliminate tariffs and reduce non-tariff barriers to trade. Australia will also work with the new Member States to assist them to harness the benefits of broad-based economic growth.

Mr Rudd is the first Head of Government of a Dialogue Partner country of ASEAN to visit the ASEAN Secretariat. “The ASEAN Secretariat is honoured by the visit of Prime Minister Rudd and welcomes the assistance from Australia in enhancing our economic integration, which will serve as the catalyst for community building efforts in ASEAN as well as ASEAN's role in fostering a wider community in East Asia,” Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan said.

“The innovative approach of Australia to work within ASEAN Secretariat systems, making ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat as key stakeholders of the cooperation, will help ASEAN drive the assistance to the most pressing areas with a view to addressing the gaps in integration, especially in the areas of trade liberalisation and facilitation, and narrowing of development gaps. This will certainly support the goal of market integration in ASEAN,” he said.

The Second Phase of AADCP will be executed in close partnership between the ASEAN Secretariat and Australia. It will target 12 priority sectors which account for more than 50 per cent of ASEAN's trade in goods and services, including tourism, textiles and apparel, and fisheries.

Transcript 15975