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Building relationships with our regional partners

October 29, 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr yesterday, October 28, welcomed the release of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper as a clear demonstration of the Gillard Government’s commitment to strengthen Australian engagement with the region.

“This is a critical moment in Australia’s engagement with Asia,” Senator Carr said.

“The White Paper delivers a roadmap for promoting Australian interests and engagement with our regional partners.”

To achieve this, the White Paper includes the following initiatives:

• the appointment of a dedicated Jakarta-based Ambassador to ASEAN; and
• planning for an Australian Embassy in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) and consulates in Shenyang (China), Phuket (Thailand) and eastern Indonesia.

“A resident Ambassador to ASEAN enhances Australia’s ability to work with ASEAN on priority regional political and economic issues,” Senator Carr said.

“Strengthening our diplomatic network in other parts of Asia is also vital to Australia’s long-term security and prosperity.”

Senator Carr said Australia would also develop comprehensive country strategies in consultation with the community, setting out objectives and priorities for Australia’s relationships, with a focus on China, India, Indonesia, Japan and the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

“We need to continue to build our engagement with major countries in Asia through regular meetings with government and business leaders, and in the exchange of people and ideas.”

Senator Carr said education was central to the Government’s strategy to strengthen links between Australians and the region.

“Over the next five years, 12,000 Australia Awards (Asian Century) will be provided to undertake inward and outward study or professional development between Australia and nations in Asia,” he said.

Senator Carr said the Government would expand work and holiday programs with countries in Asia, starting by adding 1,000 places in the Work and Holiday Visa program with Indonesia.

  1. October 29, 2012 8:32 am

    Many good initiatives here. One positive step in our region would be for DFAT to work with the Australia Council in ensuring that we have a national craft body. Our recent decision to de-fund Craft Australia has left us isolated in the region, where neighbours take their cultural heritage seriously. The recent World Crafts Council General Assembly was greeted by the Indian Prime Minister and the presidency has moved to a senior Chinese government official. A seat at that table helps greatly underpin our regional aspirations.

    • amanda permalink
      November 1, 2012 4:46 am

      If you want to reach a wider audience, you have to tell us what DFAT is also what is “A natonal craft body”? because you have taken the time to write here I assume it;s important, but you’ve given no idea of your goals.

  2. amanda permalink
    November 1, 2012 4:37 am

    As ever, an unreported victory. But you should take heart. At least you only had to get on an aeroplane. The first man who launched to earth from outer space (kudos) was quickly shut down when he declared that dictatorship may be a preferential form of government, Perhaps, you should think about a ‘journey to the centre of the earth” to affect the media of the day, or see whether al jazeera will fund the expedition, get back to me on that, I’ll come ! Mand

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