Australia's Foreign Policy and a Region in Transition
The Australian High Commission in Malaysia and the Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI) jointly hosted an address and roundtable discussion themed ‘Australia's Foreign Policy and a Region in Transition’ on 17 June.
The Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Rod Smith PSM, delivered the keynote address which highlighted Australia's foreign policy priorities, the strategic importance of the Asia-Pacific region, and Australia's relations with key global and regional institutions.
In his remarks, Mr Smith described Australia today as "globally engaged, focused on Asia, enmeshed in the forums of the region and proudly multicultural". Mr Smith outlined the significance of 2014 for Australian foreign policy. Australia is the chair of the G20, holds a seat on the United Nations Security Council and celebrates the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Australia relations.
The High Commissioner also spoke about the depth and breadth of the bilateral relationship with Malaysia. Australia and Malaysia have a long, shared history as friends and partners and in 2015 will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Australia’s diplomatic presence in Malaysia. The bilateral relationship spans a range of sectors including the political, diplomatic, economic, defence, security, education, and tourism. More than 300,000 Malaysians have studied in Australia and many Malaysians have emigrated to Australia and now call it home.
The High Commissioner expressed his gratitude to ASLI Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Michael Yeoh, for officiating the event, and said he welcomed the opportunity to meet and discuss foreign policy with guests from Malaysian Government departments, politicians, diplomats, business leaders, think-tanks and experts in the education sector.