11/03/2024 - 10:08

Australia's future lies in ASEAN: Scholar 

Emeritus Professor Hal Hill (Photo: VNA)
Emeritus Professor Hal Hill from the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University has affirmed that Australia's future really lies in ASEAN.

Talking with the Vietnam News Agency in Australia, Hill described the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit marking the 50th anniversary of their dialogue relations from March 4-6 in Melbourne as very important for Australia as ASEAN is the most important partner, diplomatically and also commercially, for Australia, more than any other rich country member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

He said Australia has a long relationship with ASEAN historically, being the first dialogue partner of the bloc five decades ago. Such relations have become more important with many people from ASEAN studying and living in Australia.

According to him, the summit is a good opportunity for the Australian PM to meet nine ASEAN leaders.

He said that the Nicholas Moore’s report which was issued in the middle of last year was an attempt by the Australian Government to highlight the opportunities for Australian business and society in close engagement with ASEAN countries. Australian universities have a role to play in connecting with ASEAN, with business expertise in certain areas in climate technology and advanced medical facilities so that both sides can do a lot together.

Australia has established a fund to encourage domestic investment in ASEAN, so the government is trying to push them to take more interest in ASEAN, he said, adding that though the summit was useful, both sides need to do a lot more.

In his view, they need to deepen bilateral ties economically, politically and culturally because collectively, they are more influential than individually, especially in important global issues like climate change and energy transition. They could also do a lot more together exchange of students and faculty.

Commenting on Vietnam’s role in promoting ASEAN-Australia ties, he hailed Vietnam as the most dynamic economy in Southeast Asia so that Australia needs to maintain its close relationship with the country. He was also impressed by the way Vietnam has managed its foreign policy very effectively./.