Autumn 2018 Update

The Association of South East Nations (ASEAN) is comprised of 10-member states, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.


If the region were a single country, it would already be the fifth-largest economy in the world, with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $US2.7 trillion in 2017. Home to more than 630 million people, it has a larger population than the European Union or North America, and the third-largest labour force in the world, behind China and India.

The region’s youthful population, declining fertility rates and stronger workforce participation is producing a demographic dividend, with ASEAN’s working-age population expected to account for 68 per cent of the total population by 20251.

ASEAN has dramatically outpaced the rest of the world in growth of GDP per capita since the late 1970s. This has been closely linked to high rates of urbanisation. Over one third of ASEAN’s population already lives in cities, but this third contributes more than two thirds of the region’s GDP. It is estimated that an additional 90 million people will live in cities by 2030, which could add more than US$50 billion to ASEAN’s GDP2.

Already some 67 million households in the region are part of the “consuming class”, with incomes exceeding the level at which they can begin to make significant discretionary purchases. That number could almost double to 125 million households by 2025, making ASEAN a pivotal consumer market of the future3. These consumers will be younger, with more discretionary spending power and a greater focus on premium products.

Victoria has a great opportunity to capitalise on the significant and growing markets on its doorstep in the ASEAN region. We have good economic relationships with key markets in the region and a well-established presence in market, with Victorian Government Trade and Investment offices in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia – but more can be done to better leverage existing links, relationships and expected growth in the region.

ASEAN Trade and Investment Strategy

On 5 March 2018, the Minister for Trade and Investment announced the preparation of a Victorian Government ASEAN Trade and Investment Strategy. The strategy will directly address the key opportunities and challenges coming from the region, and will build on the strong existing two-way connections between the parties.

The Victorian Government values your insights with regard to opportunities to grow and diversify the trade, investment and people-to-people relationships between Victoria and ASEAN. To guide the direction of the Strategy, we want your views on the future of Victoria’s engagement with the region: What is important to enhance trade and investment? What sectors should we focus on? What can we do better?

We're interested in getting your thoughts on a few questions here. You don't need to answer every question. Alternatively, you may prefer to upload a submission.

Read the discussion paper PDF, 102.2 KB for more information on the ASEAN Trade and Investment Strategy.

Submissions close 5PM, 31 March 2018.

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