50 years of partnership: what is ASEAN and why does it matter for Australia?

By Dr Pia Dannhauer

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has not only become essential to political and economic cooperation in the region, but also a vital part of Australia’s relations with Southeast Asia.

Marking the 50th anniversary of their partnership in 2024, however, the bilateral relationship has shifted significantly. As Southeast Asia grows in strategic and economic weight, Australia’s relative importance for the region is in decline.

To keep pace with the dynamic and rapidly evolving ASEAN bloc, Australia must step up its efforts to build strong regional relationships.

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