Visit to Laos and the Philippines
This week, I will travel to Southeast Asia to further strengthen Australia's relationship with Laos and the Philippines, and promote our shared interests in a stable, peaceful and prosperous region.
Laos is a valued partner for Australia, with our Prime Ministers announcing their intention to elevate the relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership in November 2022. Our friendship, built on longstanding development cooperation and people to people ties, has been forged over 70 years.
In Laos, I will meet Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith, and Head of the External Relations Committee of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party Thongsavanh Phomvihane.
I look forward to signing the Laos-Australia Sustainable Energy Partnership and to exploring ways we can expand and deepen cooperation under a Comprehensive Partnership.
Australia and the Philippines are longstanding partners, with diplomatic relations spanning 77 years. We share extensive defence and security ties, strong maritime cooperation, a wide-ranging development cooperation partnership, and deep people-to-people ties.
In the Philippines, I will meet President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., building on an agreement by President Marcos and Prime Minister Albanese to elevate the Philippines-Australia bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership.
I will also meet with Vice President Sara Z. Duterte, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, Secretary of National Defense Carlito Galvez, and National Security Advisor Eduardo Año.
The Albanese Government is committed to deeper collaboration and cooperation between Australia and Southeast Asia. The 2023-24 Budget included more than $55 million to further our engagement – investments which will complement the Government's Southeast Asia Economic Strategy, to be released later this year.
Following this visit, I will have travelled to every country in the region as Foreign Minister, with the exception of Myanmar, as a clear statement of our intent and our priorities in the region.
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