May Pop Up Event - Special Guest Speaker: Ambassador Sayakane Sisouvong

Australia and ASEAN : A Laos Perspective

On 29 May 2023, AIIA WA - in collaboration with the Forrest Research Foundation - will have the honour of hosting Ambassador Sayakane Sisouvong who will be delivering a lecture titled "Australia and ASEAN: A Laos Perspective".

Successive Australian governments have made improving engagement with ASEAN a key part the country's foreign, trade and defence policy. In an increasingly contested Indo-Pacific region, the importance of ASEAN to Australia is only intensifying. 

In the one year since it was elected, the Labor Party led Australian Government has emphasised the importance of ASEAN repeatedly and most notably by the establishment of an Office of Southeast Asia and the announcement of the development of a Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040. Australia's two-way trade with the member countries ASEAN is already greater than that with Japan or the United States, passing $150 billion in financial year 2021-22.Collectively, trade with ASEAN accounts for more than 14 per cent of Australia's overall trade. The region is a significant consumer of Australia's energy, agricultural products, minerals and education and two-way investment is over $200 billion.

Beyond the economic relationship, Australia sees ASEAN as being at the centre of a stable, peaceful, prosperous and secure region, where all states contribute to a strategic equilibrium, with DFAT describing ASEAN as being of profound significance for Australia's future.

Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997 and an Ambassador Sisouvong has played an important role in developing the country's policy towards the regional organisation. He also served as a Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN, based in the organisation's secretariat in Jakartafrom 2009-2012. With his strong connections to Australia, where he spent close to two years as a graduate student in the 1990s, he has been a keen observer of Australia's role and posture in ASEAN. During this lecture he will reflect on Australia's relations with this critical group of the country's closest neighbours and provide some suggestions as to what else we can be doing to achieve closer relations. 

Guests will receive a welcome drink on arrival. 

May 29, 2023

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (GMT+8)

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The Ashburton Room, Forrest Hall
21 Hackett Dr., Crawley WA 6009
Crawley, Western Australia, Australia

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Member Ticket

Doors open at 6:00pm. Presentation begins at 6:30

Member Price A$10
Non Member Ticket

Doors open at 6:00pm. Presentation begins at 6:30


The Australian Institute of International Affairs for WA

The Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) is an independent, non-profit organisation seeking to promote interest in and understanding of international affairs in Australia.

The WA Branch of the AIIA was founded in 1947 by Professor Fred Alexander of the University of WA, who became its first President. Like the earlier established branches in the other Australian states, the WA Branch was modelled on the British Royal Institute of International Affairs, based at Chatham House in London.

The WA Branch has maintained a steady membership, including many prominent West Australian and national leaders. Successive State Governors have served as the Branch's Official Visitor. The aim of the institute is to be an independent and non-political body that facilitates and encourages the study and debate of international questions.

Membership fees includes a subscription to The Australian Journal of International Affairs as well as two tickets at the member price to each of our our monthly meetings where you will learn about developments in international affairs of concern to the people of Western Australia. We rely on membership contributions and sponsorship of special events to keep our association running: we receive no core funding from government.