This week, I will travel to Cambodia to lead the Australian delegation to the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting in Siem Reap. These will be the first meetings of economy ministers since ASEAN leaders agreed a new comprehensive strategic partnership with Australia in October 2021.
I look forward to working with my counterparts to expedite negotiations to improve the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA), which is the central pillar of Australia’s trade and investment relationship with countries in the ASEAN. ASEAN as a bloc is Australia‘s second largest bilateral trading partner.
I will also attend the inaugural meeting of Ministers of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). RCEP provides a platform for economic cooperation and sends a strong signal of regional support for trade liberalization and the rules-based order. We welcome the recent adoption of legislation in Indonesia as an important step towards ratification.
As our countries and communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, I will use the East Asia Summit Economic Ministers’ Meeting to underscore Australia’s support for an open region. , inclusive and resilient.
Australia is committed to working closely with ASEAN to bring real substance to our comprehensive strategic partnership and regional trade agreements, to the benefit of Australia, ASEAN and the rest of the world. entire Indo-Pacific region.
Australia and Cambodia enjoy a long-standing friendship and history of cooperation, with this year marking 70 years of diplomatic relations. I hope to strengthen this relationship when I meet with my counterparts later this week.