I was delighted to meet virtually with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin tonight, as Australia and Malaysia elevated our bilateral relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).
This is a significant step in our longstanding partnership, befitting its breadth, depth and our shared interests in the security and prosperity of our region. It demonstrates the importance both countries place on working closely together into the future.
Prime Minister Muhyiddin and I agreed that the CSP will be underpinned by three streams of cooperation: economic prosperity; society and technology; and defence and regional security. Tonight was our inaugural Annual Leaders’ Meeting and we will continue to meet each year to build further on our ambitious agenda.
With the CSP, we will expand our cooperation to new horizons to address today’s most pressing challenges, collaborating on economic recovery from COVID-19, economic growth, the digital economy, health, education and in new areas of science and innovation.
We will also increase our cooperation on strategic issues, including the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region, and strengthen our dialogue on maritime interests to support our shared vision for a peaceful, stable and prosperous region.
As ASEAN’s first dialogue partner, Australia’s commitment to Southeast Asia is enduring. ASEAN remains at the heart of our vision for the Indo-Pacific, and Prime Minister Muhyiddin and I pledged to uphold and support ASEAN centrality. I thanked Prime Minister Muhyiddin for Malaysia’s important work as Australia’s ASEAN Country Coordinator for 2018-21.
Today’s announcement elevates Malaysia to the top tier of Australia’s bilateral relationships and marks the start of a new era in our partnership. I look forward to deepening the already extensive Australia-Malaysia friendship and building on the close ties between our two nations.
The text of the CSP joint statement can be found here: https://www.dfat.gov.au/geo/malaysia/joint-statement-comprehensive-strategic-partnership-between-australia-and-malaysia.