Prime Minister Anthony Albanese participated in the 3rd Annual ASEAN-Australia Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit in Jakarta, where he engaged in significant discussions with leaders from across the Indo-Pacific region.
These summits provided a platform to reaffirm Australia’s commitment to strengthening ties with its Southeast Asian partners and addressing pressing challenges facing the region.
At the East Asia Summit, Prime Minister Albanese underscored Australia’s dedication to deepening engagement with Southeast Asia nations and collaborating on solutions to shared challenges, including the critical issue of the climate crisis.
During discussions with regional counterparts, the Prime Minister addressed several key strategic matters, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the crisis in Myanmar, and the South China Sea tensions.
PM Albanese emphasised the deep connections between Australia and Southeast Asia, including economic ties, shared interests in regional stability and prosperity, and strong people-to-people connections.
He extended his gratitude to President Widodo for his leadership during the ASEAN Summits, highlighting Australia’s commitment to working together for a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
“I thank President Widodo for his leadership of the ASEAN Summits this year, and I look forward to our continued work towards a stable and prosperous region.”
He expressed the importance of collaboration with ASEAN to address common challenges like climate change and food security, shaping the future of the region through proactive engagement.
The 3rd Annual ASEAN-Australia Summit focused on finding collaborative solutions to food security pressures affecting communities in the region. Given that Southeast Asia represents one of the fastest-growing markets for Australian agricultural exports, leaders explored ways to promote open, fair, and rules-based trade to bolster resilient food supply chains.
Prime Minister Albanese took the opportunity to announce two initiatives aimed at supporting regional food security:
- Investment in the ASEAN-CGIAR Innovate for Food Regional Program: This initiative seeks to promote joint research efforts between ASEAN and Australia to develop innovative agricultural practices and technologies that can enhance regional food security.
- Expansion of the Meryl Williams Fellowships for Women in Agricultural Science: This expansion will enable around 20 fellows from ASEAN member states and Timor-Leste to undertake study programs in Australia, fostering talent and knowledge exchange in the agricultural sector.
These initiatives align with Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040, which was unveiled by the Prime Minister the previous day. The strategy outlines a practical pathway to increase Australia’s two-way trade and investment with Southeast Asia.
In 2024, ASEAN and Australia will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their partnership. To mark this significant milestone, Prime Minister Albanese shared plans for a Special Commemorative Summit in Australia scheduled for next March.
In addition to the summits, Prime Minister Albanese held meetings with counterparts from Indonesia, China, Timor-Leste, Canada, Laos, and Malaysia, further fostering diplomatic ties and discussing critical regional issues.
During his visit to Jakarta, the Prime Minister also announced the second tranche of initiatives under the $200 million Australia-Indonesia Climate and Infrastructure Partnership, including:
- $50 million to de-risk private infrastructure projects: This funding will support Indonesia’s ambitions for achieving net-zero emissions by mitigating risks associated with private sector financing for high-potential projects. It will also provide feasibility studies and environmental assessments to facilitate project development.
- $100 million to support Indonesia’s sustainable finance and just energy transition agenda: This commitment includes technical assistance, expanded government partnerships, and social inclusion initiatives to ensure that women, people with disabilities, and vulnerable groups benefit from the transition to clean energy. This funding will also help establish a bilateral mechanism to advance collaboration on the electric vehicle ecosystem under the Partnership.
These initiatives complement the first $50 million tranche of initiatives announced at the Australia-Indonesia Annual Leaders’ Meeting in July 2023.
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