Australia to join ASEAN

Australia was recently called out to expand their future in Asia through joining the Association of Southeast Asian nations. According to SBS News, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be preparing to host the ASEAN leaders at an event in Sydney on March 17-18, 2018. A released report of Australian Strategic Policy Institute on Tuesday will reportedly make the case for membership.

“Joining ASEAN is the best way to give full expression to our future in south-east Asia and in Asia more broadly. The Sydney summit can stir ambition into the symbolism, reaching towards substance,” says report author Graeme Dobell. He also suggested that by 2024, Australia and New Zealand could take up a new form of membership as ASEAN community partners.

Mr. Dobell added, “ASEAN, as a middle power grouping, needs extra middle power heft from Australia and New Zealand.” He explained how Southeast Asia is experiencing the pressure from Asia’s big beasts: China, India, Japan and in the US. Moreover, the report recognizes the potential uphill battle to obtain membership into the ten-country organization. One possible hurdle is Australia’s own perspective. Belong to any club that would accept me as Dobell shared, “Australia confronts a version of the Groucho Marx line, ‘I do not want to one of its members.” More money in the bank is surely needed to complete the cause!

On the other hand, Former Prime minister Paul Keating of Australia has advocated for the country to seek membership of ASEAN in order to find security in Asia not from Asia. “Or Canberra muses on a complicated semi-Groucho conundrum: ‘Love the club. Think it is a wonderful, vitally important club. But we would never want to join. Oh, and they do not want us.” ASEAN members include the following countries:

  • Brunei
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

It can be recalled how Australia had a “strategic partnership” with ASEAN since 2014.

What is happening in Australia

What is happening in Australia today?

  • US markets returned on Friday but still ended the week 5.2 percent. However, there was no relief for the ASX, because then China’s Shanghai SE50 crashed 4.6 percent and futures are pointing lower today. The yield spread between Australian and US 10-year bonds will start the week in negative territory, but the dollar found some buyers at a key technical level on Friday night.
  • Brexit talks could collapse over Ireland. The Irish question has looked resolved for nearly 20 years, but the matter of the border is threatening to derail the Brexit negotiations entirely. According to Business Insider, a high-ranking member of the Irish government recently told a British MP that “talks could collapse at any moment”.
  • Would you be ready for a recession? Think about the people you work with. Have any of them worked through a proper downturn? In Australia, you need to be about 45 to remember one in your career, let alone have managed a business through one. This could cause some trouble in the next downturn, but could even cause problems now, explains Paul Colgan.
  • Economists and traders search what went wobbly last week, why, and if it will happen again. This is the reason why data was a big deal in the current week. The first big number will be CPI inflation on Wednesday night, then its jobs and production Thursday before finishing with housing starts Friday. Meanwhile, China is out on holiday for Thursday and Friday. The big release will reportedly happen on Thursday in Australia and people are expected to see more jobs growth in this year.
  • Furthermore, one biggest question is if a person earns $1000 an hour. Of course, no one is but this is how one should value their time. In this case, people must learn how to spend wisely.

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