The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. The grouping later expanded to include Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. In November 2015, ASEAN declared itself as the ASEAN Community. This includes the ASEAN Economic Community which provides a framework for simplifying and standardising the trade and business environments among ASEAN Member States.
ASEAN's economic growth outpaces the rest of the world
ASEAN's combined GDP of US$2.5 trillion comprises 3.4 per cent of the world's GDP. In 2016, the region's annual average GDP growth was 4.6 per cent, outpacing the global average of 3.2 per cent, and taken as a whole the region is set to become the equivalent of the world's fourth largest economy by 2030. By then, more than half the people who make up the world's middle class will live within a six hour flight from Bangkok, putting the region at the crossroads of world trade.
The region is set to become the equivalent of the world's fourth largest economy by 2030
AUSTRALIA AND ASEAN TRADE AND INVESTMENT RELATIONSHIP
Australia's $93 billion two-way trade with ASEAN has grown by over $25 billion in the past decade, and now exceeds our trade with the United States and Japan. ASEAN accounts for 11.5 per cent of Australia's exports and 16.1 per cent of imports. ASEAN was the largest source of goods export revenue for Australia's small-and-medium-sized exporters in 2014–15.* Australia's exports to ASEAN reflect the region's diverse needs. Education-related travel is Australia's largest export to ASEAN as a group, with crude petroleum our largest goods export.
Australia and ASEAN have a strong trade and investment relationship, and our FTAs give us a competitive edge
In 2016, two-way investment between Australian and ASEAN was $224.4 billion – greater than the two-way investment between Australia and China. Australia's regional FTA with ASEAN and New Zealand, AANZFTA, and bilateral FTAs with Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand provide greater certainty for Australian service suppliers and investors, and extensive tariff reductions for goods exporters.
These great insights have been provided by Austrade, to find out more follow this link: https://www.austrade.gov.au/asean-now/why-asean-matters-to-australia/australia-asean-trade-investment-relationship/