Today in Manila I launched the Philippines chapter of AustCham ASEAN – a new organisation for Australian businesses in the region.

With a network of over 3,000 corporate members, AustCham ASEAN will highlight commercial opportunities and improve coordination of Australia’s business interests in fast-growing Southeast Asia.

ASEAN as a bloc is Australia’s third-largest trade destination, behind China and the EU, with two-way trade worth $93 billion in 2016. The ASEAN region is projected to grow by around 5 per cent annually for the next 5 years and is already larger than the sixth largest individual economy in the world.

Australian business is well-placed to take advantage of these opportunities, through geographic proximity, cultural and linguistic ties, and strong links in education and tourism.

Australia can provide a lot of what ASEAN’s growing consumer class want – high quality food, education, professional services, and resources and energy.

I will continue to work closely with my ASEAN partners to grow trade and investment between us.

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