Melbourne will host the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit on March 4-6, 2024, bringing together leaders to commemorate the 50 years since Australia became ASEAN’s first Dialogue Partner.
Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister of Australia, has invited leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)–Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Philippine President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr is scheduled to attend and is expected to meet and address the Filipino community during his visit to Australia.
The ASEAN-Australia partnership has evolved over 50 years, focusing on shared economic, political, and cultural interests. In 2021, a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) was established, leading to increased cooperation in various areas such as energy transition, digital economy, health and countering human trafficking.
The summit will focus on enhancing cooperation under the CSP, bringing leaders together to discuss economic, climate, clean energy and maritime cooperation.
Key events during the summit include a CEO Business Forum, an SME Conference, an Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue, a Climate and Clean Energy Forum and a Maritime Cooperation Conference. Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040 (the Moore Report) will provide the key focus through these events, aiming to boost trade and investment between Australia and Southeast Asia and the collective green energy transition.
Political analysts predict that Australia and ASEAN could issue a joint statement on the South China Sea in response to concerns about the ongoing tension between China and the Philippines.
The summit will also feature a photobook and exhibition showcasing the ASEAN-Australia relationship since 1974, highlighting people-to-people connections, development cooperation, business, trade, investment and diplomatic efforts. The three-day summit will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.