Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley has stated that deepening partnerships between Western Australia and South-East Asian nations will be a key part of the State’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
The Minister made the statements during the Western Australia-ASEAN Trade and Investment Dialogue, an annual meeting of major stakeholders to promote trade relationships and business networks between WA and the 10 ASEAN countries.
As part of the Dialogue, the Minister unveiled an industry-supported Aquaculture Development Plan to grow Western Australia’s aquaculture industry, which has the potential to export to ASEAN markets and create up to 6,000 jobs across WA.
The Dialogue started on Monday (November 16), shortly after Australia signed the world’s largest free trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which will create significant opportunities for WA.
RCEP countries include seven of Western Australia’s top 15 trading partners – several of them ASEAN countries – and offers opportunities for the State’s farmers and other businesses, particularly in the services sector.
The five-day dialogue, which took place online this year, included more than 350 delegates from 11 countries and 16 influential speakers who provided important insights into market and partnership development.
The theme of this year’s dialogue – ‘WA and ASEAN: A Shared Economic Recovery’ – focused on the relationship between WA and South-East Asian countries as part of the economic recovery from COVID-19.
The $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan includes a range of initiatives to support the State’s economic recovery from COVID-19. The plan will support WA’s long-term engagement with Asia including in renewable energy, new technologies, manufacturing and health care.
This year’s online format saw program presentations and panel discussions broadcast live from Perth to business leaders, policymakers and economists across WA and South-East Asia.
Home to more than 650 million people, the ASEAN region has a bigger population than the European Union or North America.
If ASEAN were a country, it would have a combined GDP of around US$3 trillion. By 2050, the ASEAN region is projected to rank as the world’s fourth largest economy, which offers significant opportunities for WA businesses.
In its third year, the annual WA-ASEAN Trade and Investment Dialogue is an important initiative of the McGowan Government, delivered in partnership with the Perth USAsia Centre.
All online forums have been professionally recorded and will be available for free online next month.
For more information, visit https://perthusasia.edu.au
As stated by Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley:
“Thousands of Western Australian families depend on our State’s trade with Asia for their jobs and economic security.
“Our efforts to build a more resilient and diversified WA economy post-COVID includes expanding trade with ASEAN nations, and supporting local businesses to succeed in South-East Asian markets.
“This will only become more important following Australia’s involvement in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is the largest trade deal in history.
“As part of WA’s economic recovery we are preparing now for when we have full access to our Asian and international markets.
“The 2020 Western Australia-ASEAN Trade and Investment Dialogue has explored the current connections and opportunities between our regions, and how our economies can work more strongly together.”