The eyes of the world are on the Indo-Pacific region, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said, highlighting the importance of Australia’s relationships with its Asian neighbours as he wrapped up a trip to Europe.
Mr Morrison visited the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) today in Paris, the last act in a visit that has included meetings with G7 leaders such as US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and French President Emmanuel Macron.
While discussions at the recent G7 summit ranged from free trade to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Morrison asserted that the Indo-Pacific was becoming a region of increasing importance to the world.
“I think there is a growing awareness of the Indo-Pacific full stop,” Mr Morrison said.”It is so much more a factor … and not just strategically but economically as well, but also of the business community.”Mr Morrison said Australia’s relationships with its neighbours, particularly in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), remained vital.”Their notion of a free and open Indo-Pacific is what we endorse,” he said.”We see our role in enabling what ASEAN is seeking to achieve in the Indo-Pacific and within ASEAN there are countries of many different formations, many different systems and we work with them all.
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