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ASEAN and Australia marked 40 years of their successful dialogue partnership with the Official Launch of the ASEAN-Australia 40th Anniversary Commemoration on February 20 at The Peninsula Manila Hotel in Makati City.

The Official Launch marked four decades of strong ASEAN-Australia partnership and serve as a platform for charting a new strategic direction, complementing ASEAN’s focus on strengthening regional integration through the ASEAN Community 2015 and beyond.

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop led the launch. The event was also graced by top diplomats, including the Heads of Mission/Representatives of all ASEAN Member States and Dialogue Partners in the Philippines, who collectively emphasized the depth of ASEAN-Australia engagement in security, culture, trade, education, people-to-people exchanges and development.

The Official Logo of the ASEAN-Australia 40th Anniversary Commemoration was likewise unveiled during the event.

Australia became ASEAN’s first formal dialogue partner in April 1974. The Philippines is now the Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Australia relations (2102 to 2015).