ASEAN-Australia relations

The ASEAN-Australia partnership is important to the region’s security and prosperity.

Since becoming ASEAN’s first dialogue partner in 1974, Australia has supported ASEAN’s vision of a rules-based, inclusive and economically integrated regional community. In 2013, the Australian Mission to ASEAN was established in Jakarta and is responsible for advancing Australia’s interest with ASEAN and ASEAN-led processes.

In 2014, Australia and ASEAN formally became strategic partners, recognising the importance of the relationship in building mutual security and prosperity.

Links between people and communities help underpin Australia’s partnership with Southeast Asia. According to the 2016 Australian census, over 896,000 people claimed heritage from ASEAN nations.

Australia welcomes more than one million visitors from ASEAN countries each year, and in 2016 Australians made almost three million trips to ASEAN countries.



Working with ASEAN complements Australia’s substantial bilateral relationships with the countries of Southeast Asia. Education is a cornerstone of Australia’s engagement with Southeast Asia and is supported by measures such as the New Colombo Plan and the Australia Awards.

Around 100,000 students from ASEAN countries are studying in Australia, and from 2014 to 2018 over 13,500 Australian undergraduate students are being supported to study and undertake internships in ASEAN countries through the New Colombo Plan.

ASEAN is one of Australia’s top three trading partners, representing around 15 per cent of Australia’s total trade. Trade between Australia and ASEAN countries amounted to AUD$93.2 billion in 2016. The region offers increasing opportunities, with deepening regional integration through Free Trade Agreements and stronger ties seeing significant prospects for business.

With a population of over 637 million and a burgeoning consumer class, ASEAN countries are poised for further growth.


Australia and ASEAN are working together to address important regional challenges, including: 






Australia's trade with ASEAN

ASEAN-Aus Trade map from DFAT

Click on the image to view an interactive map of Australia's trade with ASEAN courtesy of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

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