ASEAN, Australia Continue Partnership to Support AEC

Jakarta – ASEAN and Australia today signed the Exchange of Notes on the Extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II (AADCP II) at the ASEAN Secretariat.

Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, reiterated his appreciation towards Australia for its support towards ASEAN current cooperation programmes, including the AADCP II, and highlighted AADCP II as a good example of partnership between ASEAN and a Dialogue Partner.

Simon Merrifield, Australian Ambassador to ASEAN, said that Australia is deeply committed to its partnership with ASEAN and its Secretariat, including through AADCP II, its flagship program with ASEAN.  He said Australia was very pleased to support the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in this important year.

Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines to ASEAN and Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Australia Relations, H.E. Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, witnessed the occasion and thanked Australia for providing a fund that is well managed and addresses the real needs of ASEAN.  She said that the Joint Programme Review Committee (JPRC) management system of AADCP II is the model which could set an example of best practices for other Dialogue Partners to follow. She expressed high satisfaction in having worked with the Australian Mission to ASEAN in elevating ASEAN-Australia relations and living up to its status of strategic partnership.

Australia has had technical cooperation programmes with the ASEAN Secretariat for over 40 years, since 1974.  The AADCP II was originally a seven-year AUD 57 million programme (2008-2015) funded by the Australian Government, with the objective of supporting ASEAN economic integration in line with the AEC. Through the Exchange of Notes, the programme is extended until 2019.

Since 2008, AADCP II has provided valuable assistance to ASEAN, including institutional strengthening of ASEAN Secretariat, assisting in economic research and policy, and supporting regional mechanisms and capacities to implement the AEC Blueprint.