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Monday, 19 March 2018
Page: 1397

Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Australia Special Summit

Senator HUME (Victoria) (14:31): My question is for the Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator Cash. Can the minister update the Senate about any opportunities for Australian science and industry to arise out of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit?

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister for Jobs and Innovation) (14:31): I thank Senator Hume for her question. Senators will be aware that the ASEAN summit was held in Sydney recently, on the weekend. It was an outstanding success, and it presented a number of opportunities for both Australia and Australian industry. Ministers were involved in a number of discussions, and I had the opportunity to participate in discussions aimed at increasing science and industry ties between Australia and ASEAN nations.

On Friday, CSIRO's Data61 launched the Sunrise industries report. The report identifies seven emerging industries in ASEAN and neighbouring nations, including Australia, which will generate future jobs and fuel further investment in our region. I'm also pleased to advise that on Thursday Australia, again through the CSIRO, and Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding on collaboration in science and technology.

Many ASEAN members, including Vietnam, have strong economic growth prospects and provide potential markets for Australian exports. It's important that we provide Australia and Australian industry with an ability to integrate into these markets so that they can increase their economic ties and ultimately create more jobs. Forging stronger connections with our regional neighbours will enhance Australia's economic prosperity and security, and will boost Australia's regional productivity.

We also announced a joint initiative with the ASEAN countries to promote digital trade through the ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Standards Initiative. International standards will enable digital trade to remove barriers and, again, this will help to share the benefits of a more inclusive digital economy.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Hume, a supplementary question.

Senator HUME (Victoria) (14:33): I thank the minister for her answer. Can the minister further update the Senate about the recent announcement about opportunities for the CSIRO in Vietnam?

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister for Jobs and Innovation) (14:34): As I was saying, last week CSIRO signed a memorandum of understanding with the Vietnamese Minister for Science and Technology which will promote collaboration between CSIRO and Vietnamese researchers. It will support engagement in a diverse range of areas, including agriculture, health, marine science, astronomy and space, and it will build on the groundwork that has been laid over the last few years. Vietnam is a priority nation under the Australian government's Global Innovation Strategy initiatives. To date, over $1.1 million has been committed to five collaborative projects involving Vietnamese partners. These projects include a research program supporting our prawn industries and exploring new opportunities in digital design and advanced manufacturing. The government is committed to promoting collaboration with ASEAN neighbours and promoting growth.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Hume, a final supplementary question.

Senator HUME (Victoria) (14:35): Can the minister also outline how these opportunities complement other international collaboration in her portfolio to create jobs and prosperity in Australia and around our region?

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister for Jobs and Innovation) (14:35): From negotiating the TPP, which many said could not be done, to leading the world in securing an exemption from US tariffs, everything we do is designed to create more and better paid jobs for Australians—for example, our $4.9 million Global Connections Fund, providing seed funding to enable Australian small to medium enterprises to collaborate with SMEs overseas; our $16.5 million Global Innovation Linkages program, supporting Australian industry and research organisations with international research grants; our Landing Pads initiative, providing start-ups with an entry into global innovation hotspots; and our $3.2 million Regional Collaborations Program, building strong regional linkages in the Asia-Pacific. Again, the Turnbull government is committed to growing the economy, creating jobs and standing up for Australia's best interests.