Indo-Pacific Explainer: ASEAN

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is Southeast Asia’s primary multilateral organisation, established in 1967. Since then, it has become essential to political and economic cooperation in the region and taken on a broader regional and international significance as the hub at a centre of a network of regional institutions in East Asia.

ASEAN has also become a vital part of Australia’s relations with Southeast Asia. Its members are among Australia’s most important economic partners –Australia’s trading relationship with the bloc exceeds $100 billion a year, ahead of the United States and Japan. Moreover, several ASEAN-led regional institutions such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) provide a platform for Australia to promote political stability and cooperation in the wider region.

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