Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee has today marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by announcing the ASEAN@50 Fellowship Programme.

Mr Brownlee is currently in Manila, Philippines where he’s attending ASEAN-New Zealand Ministerial consultations, the East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum.

“New Zealand has a thriving relationship with ASEAN and is pleased to join in the 50th anniversary celebrations,” Mr Brownlee says.

“These fellowships provide the opportunity for experts from the ASEAN region to exchange ideas and research in New Zealand on issues.

“The ASEAN@50 Fellowships will target leaders from ASEAN universities, research institutes, think-tanks and businesses to undertake research and public engagement in New Zealand throughout 2018.

“Collectively, ASEAN is New Zealand’s fourth largest trading partner and the world’s third largest population. Deepening connections with the region is essential for New Zealand’s future prosperity.”

The ASEAN@50 Fellowships will be run, in partnership, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the South-east Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPE), at Victoria University of Wellington.

The Southeast Asia CAPE was established this year as part of the New Zealand Government’s Business Growth Agenda.

“Its goal is to support New Zealanders increase business, economic, trade, cultural, and political relationships in the region.

“The Southeast Asia CAPE is one of three centres in place across New Zealand universities – the North Asia CAPE and Latin America CAPE are the other two.

“Between them, the Government has allocated $34.5 million in funding over four years,” Mr Brownlee says.

Notes to editors: 

ASEAN is a political and economic community of 10 South-east Asian nations – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, The Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. The CAPEs will be directed collectively by the University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, the University of Otago and the University of Waikato. Applications for the ASEAN@50 Fellowships will open later this year and the Fellows will arrive in New Zealand next year.

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