ASEAN Concludes, Australian PM Issues Statement

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Australian Government released a public statement regarding topics and key points of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit on its final day, March 6th.

Economics, trade, jobs, and education were major talking points during the multination summit. Australian Prime Minister (PM) Anthony Albanese claimed that the combined members of ASEAN would be the fourth largest economy by 2040 and touched on further financial opportunities between the alliance. A $2 billion investment by Australia into many key industries in the region was discussed, especially green energy.

Australia’s membership in ASEAN was also questioned; however, the Australian PM said it is not currently being considered.

Albanese also mentioned current tensions within the South China Sea, how nations should not add any tension to the activity ongoing in those waters, and how it’s “an important thing going forward.” He also referred to it as “an important issue” and how it “is dangerous and it creates risks of miscalculation which can then lead to escalation.”

Albanese also stressed the concept of a nation’s sovereignty regarding clashes between Chinese and Philippine vessels near Second Thomas and Scarborough Shoals.