by Adeline Teoh
Friday 24 July 2009
Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith yesterday signed the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program (AADCP) Phase II Memorandum of Understanding with his Thai counterpart Kasit Piromya.
The program involves Australia providing $57 million worth of assistance over seven years. Thus far, the first phase has seen greater trade links between ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations), Australia and New Zealand.
The second phase will involve increasing economic integration and growth across the region, and a commitment to assist less developed ASEAN nations meet United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
ASEAN consists of Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, which has a combined population of 550 million.