The incoming government of Australia, headed by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of the Labor party, intends to focus on relationships with Southeast Asia and on climate change, an issue especially important in the region.
Laos and Australia have a long history of working together and recently celebrated 70 years of collaboration.
The former Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne visited Laos in February of this year to celebrate this 70-year milestone, discuss plans for the future, and strategize collaboration.
Australia has also been one of Laos’ top supporters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At their meeting in February, the ministers of both nations stated that they would support each other per the agreements of the ASEAN-Australia Strategic Partnership, especially as Laso prepares to chair ASEAN in 2024.
This week Albanese and Australia’s new Foreign Minister Penny Wong attended a meeting in Tokyo with the United States, India, and Japan where leaders of the four nations planned to provide upwards of USD 50 billion in investment and infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific region in the next five years.
Areas of attention will include investment, defense, technology trade, and maritime safety. The labor party has also said that they want to collaborate with the ASEAN bloc.
The four-party meeting was part of U.S. President Biden’s trip to Asia just weeks following the ASEAN Summit in the U.S. capital, where Biden pledged 150 million US dollars to benefit ASEAN nations.