An Introduction to the
ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation
The ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Program (AADCP) represents the fourth phase of the previously named ASEAN-Australia Economic Cooperation Program (AAECP). AAECP was established in 1974 to promote cooperation between Australia and ASEAN in areas of agreed regional development priority. The program has evolved to keep pace with significant economic progress in South East Asia and the maturing nature of the ASEAN-Australia relationship. AAECP Phase III is now winding down with all but one activity now finalized.
Planning for a new phase of AAECP incorporating the newer ASEAN Member Countries (Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar) commenced in January 1999. A Memorandum of Understanding for the resulting six year, A$45 million ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Program was subsequently signed in August 2002.
When announcing the commencement of AADCP, the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon Alexander Downer said that the program, funded by the Australian Government’s overseas aid program, is a practical demonstration of Australia’s commitment to working with ASEAN to assist economic growth and poverty reduction. Mr. Downer said that implementation of AADCP is consistent with the emphasis in the Australian Government’s aid program on good governance and the centrality of economic growth to poverty reduction. Mr. Downer noted that the program will complement Australia’s bilateral assistance to regional countries as well as efforts by Southeast Asian countries themselves to improve economic governance and strengthen regional integration in the wake of the 1997 Financial Crisis. Mr. Downer further noted that AADCP will provide a useful mechanism for progressing both ASEAN and Australian interests in the ASEAN Free Trade Area-CER Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) and in sharing the benefits of globalization through trade and investment.
The overarching goal of AADCP is to promote sustainable development within ASEAN, by assisting ASEAN to tackle priority regional development challenges through regional cooperation. Specific objectives of the Program are: to strengthen regional economic and social cooperation; to strengthen regional institutional capacities; to strengthen science, technology and environmental cooperation; and to expedite the new ASEAN Member Countries’ integration into ASEAN by supporting their participation in ASEAN cooperation programs.
AADCP - REPSF
The Regional Economic Policy Support Facility (REPSF) commenced operations in March 2002 and is the first component of the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program (AADCP). The main objective of the REPSF is to augment the capacity of the ASEAN Secretariat in providing high-quality policy analysis to ASEAN on regional economic issues. It also endeavors to strengthen the regional linkages between the ASEAN Secretariat and economic policy research entities within ASEAN member countries and Australia.
The Facility has a research budget of approximately A$1 million per year.
REPSF is managed from the Secretariat in Jakarta under the guidance of the Research Priorities Committee (RPC) composed of the Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat (Convener and Co-Chair); the ASEAN Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM) Representative; and the Director, Asia Regional Section of AusAID (Co-Chair).
The Goal of The Regional
The ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Program (AADCP) represents the fourth phase of the previously named ASEAN Australia Economic Cooperation Program (AAECP). The Regional Partnerships Scheme (RPS) managed by ACIL Australia, is one component of three under the AADCP umbrella. The other two are the Regional Economic Support Facility, managed by Melbourne University Private and an Enhancing Competitiveness and Economic Integration Program also managed by ACIL Australia.
The goal of the RPS is to contribute to greater/deeper economic integration of ASEAN to assist it to better participate in the global economy. The RPS is supporting three levels of development intervention: (1) Integrated regional policy initiatives; (2) Supporting the harmonization of institutional frameworks within ASEAN; and/or (3) Capacity building across ASEAN to implement the harmonized policies.
Project funds will strengthen the capacity of ASEAN to address regional development challenges by supporting project partnerships between appropriately skilled institutions in Australia and ASEAN member countries. This will be achieved through the provision of grants for a range of small-scale (A$50,000-500,000) regional activities jointly developed by ASEAN and Australian organizations.
Project proposals must identify one or more ASEAN partner agencies or ASEAN affiliated bodies and be partnered with at least one Australia body (RPS Coordination Unit can support in identifying the appropriate Australian body).
All project proposals must contribute to the above-mentioned RPS goal and meet the following criteria:
1. Demonstrate its contribution to poverty alleviation.
2. Demonstrate a link to the development priorities of ASEAN as outlined in the ASEAN Plan of Cooperation Document (currently the Hanoi Plan of Action).
3. Address a regional problem that requires a regional solution.
Regional Partnerships Scheme
The Regional Partnerships Scheme began in mid-August 2002 under the management auspices of ACIL Australia. The nominated Project Director, Dr. Greg Gibbons and the Project Manager, Mr. Denis Dragovic, traveled to the ASEAN Secretariat in September to meet with the head of the counterpart bureau within the Secretariat, Dhannanjaya Sunoto, Director of the Bureau of Programme Coordination and External Relations.
Since those early days the Regional Partnerships Scheme has established a Coordination Unit within the Secretariat led by Maria Eloida Cruz Balamiento, Project Coordinator and supported by Budhi Yonanta, Project Officer and Ellen Lubis, Administration Assistant. Together the RPS team have established a website with complete background information and application forms online as well as many other useful links and information. The page can be found at www.aadcp.org/rps. In November 2002, the Joint Selection and Review Committee consisting of representatives from Australia’s overseas aid agency, AusAID, and from the ASEAN Secretariat met in Bangkok to agree on the application guidelines, approval process and other planning, management and implementation issues. Shortly thereafter, the Regional Partnerships Scheme’s funding opportunities were officially opened and available to applicants. The first funding round will be held on May 6th followed by continuing rounds every 3-4 months thereafter. Due to the need to
consult widely with ASEAN bodies and Australian organizations the cut off point for each funding round will be two months prior to the date. Please continue to check the website
AADCP Program Stream
The third program under the $A45 million (approximately $US27 million) ASEAN AADCP is due to start in May 2003. The Program Stream will deliver ten separate projects over five years. Within these projects, ASEAN and Australian participants will work together to achieve their project’s goals, which will contribute towards enhancing either ASEAN economic integration (INT) or enhancing ASEAN private and small and medium sized enterprises sector economic competitiveness (COMP). These projects will build on projects funded by AusAID under the ASEAN Australia Economic Cooperation Program (AAECP), most recently through the Projects Stream.
The first four projects to commence will be:
· Legal Infrastructure for E-Commerce Project (INT 3)
· Promoting Mutual Recognition of Skills as a Means to Enhance Employability and Regional Mobility Project (INT 5)
· Quality Assurance Systems for ASEAN Fruit and Vegetables (COMP 2)
· Quality Assurance and Safety of Fish and Fishery Products Handling, Processing and Packaging
There are four projects currently being designed and are scheduled to commence in 2004: · Standards and Conformity Assessment Project (INT 1)
· Enhanced Customs Capacity Building Project (INT 2)
· Fostering Private Sector Competitiveness & SME Sector Development (COMP1) · Strengthening Animal Health Management and Quarantine (COMP 5)
The remaining two projects are yet to be designed and are scheduled for implementation in 2005: · Strengthening ASEAN Plant Health Capacity (COMP 4)
· Strengthening ASEAN Capability in Risk Assessment in Support of Food Safety (COMP 6).
Joint Selection and Review Panel meeting (project funding selection) in Brunei, for the Regional Partnerships Scheme
Joint Planning Committee Meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
ASEAN-Australia Forum in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
AADCP Program Stream project begins
ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Program The ASEAN Secretariat, Ground Floor
70A Jl. Sisingamangaraja Jakarta 12110 INDONESIA Tel. (62-21) 724-3372, 726-2991 Fax (62-21) 722-9028
Maria Eloida Cruz Balamiento, Project Coordinator The ASEAN Secretariat, Second Floor
Jl. Sisingamangaraja No. 70A Jakarta 12110 Indonesia
Tel. (62-21) 724-3372, 726-2991 ext. 150 Fax (62-21) 739-8234
Denis Dragovic, Project Manager ACIL Australia Pty Ltd
854 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn Vic 3122 AUSTRALIA