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 Australia Launches $1.3 Billion Fund to Boost Investment in ASEAN

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Australia Launches $1.3 Billion Fund to Boost Investment in ASEAN

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced establishment of a $1.3 billion investment financing facility to boost investment in Southeast Asia as part of a suite of economic initiatives announced at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Melbourne.

Australia’s two-way investment with ASEAN was worth $200.07 billion in 2022. Two-way trade with ASEAN accounted for $116 billion in 2022, accounting for 15% of Australia’s trade, which is greater than Australia’s trade with Japan or the US.

Australia’s Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040 was launched last year by the Prime Minister to deepen Australia’s economic engagement with the region and ensure the country’s shared prosperity.

Addressing 100 Australian and Southeast Asian CEOs at the ASEAN-Australian Summit in Melbourne on Tuesday, the Prime Minister unveiled a package of focussed initiatives that represent the next phase of the Government’s response to recommendations in the Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040.

The $1.3 billion Southeast Asia Investment Financing Facility (SEAIFF), which will be managed by Export Finance Australia, will provide loans, guarantees, equity and insurance for projects that would boost Australian trade and investment in Southeast Asia, particularly in support of the region’s clean energy transition and infrastructure development.

He also said that $91.24 million will be spent over four years to extend the Partnerships for Infrastructure Program, which will support efforts to improve regional infrastructure development and attract more diverse, quality infrastructure finance – including from SEAIFF. The program has been running since 2021 and has assisted partners to accelerate transport connectivity, the clean energy transition and telecommunications reforms.

Business Champions

The government will appoint ten Business Champions to facilitate greater commercial links between Australia and the economies of ASEAN. The Champions are senior Australian business leaders who will ensure Government and the private sector work in tandem to boost our two-way trade and investment.

Another initiative is the launch of regional technology ‘Landing Pads’ in Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh City which will provide on-the-ground support for Australian businesses to boost technology services exports to Southeast Asian markets, following the establishment of the initial ‘Landing Pad’ in Singapore in 2017.

Business Visitor visas will be extended from three to five years and the ten-year Frequent Traveller stream will be extended to eligible ASEAN Member States and Timor-Leste.

Albanese said that Australia’s economic future lies in our region and he was proud to lead a Government that was making efforts to strengthen the country’s trade and investment ties with Southeast Asia, directly contributing to the shared economic prosperity.

“These initiatives represent further investments in our future and ensure we are working with Southeast Asia as it continues to grow in economic size and reach. When our region prospers, Australia prospers,” he added.

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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