Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

PM Phuc arrives in Sydney for ASEAN-Australia Special Summit

PM Phuc arrives in Sydney for ASEAN-Australia Special Summit

In addition, Australia and ASEAN nations are expected to several MoUs, initiatives and projects on cooperation in fighting terrorism and human trafficking, the establishment of dialogue mechanism on cyber policy, maritime collaboration, economic co-operation and e-commerce criteria.

"Protectionism is a dead end".

"We must face the world, not turn from it. Embrace free trade, not retreat from it", Turnbull said on day one of the three-day summit.

Australia was among several countries to raise concern about his crackdown at a United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva a year ago.

The NSW government's new strategy aims to achieve a 10 per cent annual growth in trade and investment relationship with ASEAN every year over the next five years, with focus on six major areas of infrastructure and smart cities, technology, education, high-quality food, mining services and tourism.

China claims most of the South China Sea, an important trade route and which is believed to contain large quantities of oil and natural gas, and has been building artificial islands on reefs, some with ports and air strips.

Among the heads of state/government who are set to attend the summit are Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, Myanmar de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, and Cambodian Prime Minister Hunsen. The partnership would group Asean with six countries with which it already has free-trade deals: Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

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"There is a shift in the global strategic balance, Chinese influence is growing with its economy and strength, and its interest in the region and beyond", he said.

NSW has a long history of engagement with ASEAN countries.

Themed "Enhancing Regional Security and Prosperity", the event will feature discussions on issues in regional security, economic relations and counter-terrorism measures to tighten ties between Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Other ASEAN countries oppose such operations.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been criticized for welcoming some of the leaders to his hometown, including Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who have been singled out by protesters.

Almost 700,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar after militant attacks on August 25 sparked a crackdown led by security forces in the western Rakhine state that the United Nations and United States have said constituted ethnic cleansing. "I can use violence against you".

"This is an opportunity for us to discuss issues of concern face-to-face and raise with the Asean leaders the value that Australia attaches to protecting and promoting human rights".

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