Chapter Four - Outcome Performance > Outcome Five: Strategic Policy > page 11 of 14 > Defence Cooperation > South East Asia 1/3
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Outcome Five: Strategic Policy

Defence Cooperation

South East Asia

The Defence Cooperation Program in the South-East Asia region grew in 2004-05 by $3.7m primarily due to the construction of the Australian advisers' residential compound project (Phase 1) in East Timor and expenditure to provide the Nomad Maintenance Team in Indonesia with essential maintenance and spares to ensure continued airworthiness of the aircraft. Defence Cooperation in South East Asia continued to have a strong focus on counter terrorism.

Defence Cooperation with East Timor continued to support the development of an affordable, sustainable and appropriately focused East Timor Defence Force through infrastructure development, language and leadership training.

Progress was achieved in the Australia-Indonesian defence relationship, particularly in the areas of senior-level dialogue and visits. The Minister for Defence and the Chief of the Defence Force both visited their counterparts in Jakarta. In addition, the Service Chiefs met with their counterparts and service staff talks have been held to agree on practical cooperative activities. The value of an effective defence relationship was demonstrated by the smooth cooperation between the ADF and Indonesian military (TNI) during Indonesia's operation to bring relief to the victims of the South-East Asian tsunami.

Defence relationships with Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia remained strong and were sustained by broad-based programs of dialogue, training and joint projects in the fields of logistics, defence science and materiel. Developments in exercise programs for Five Power Defence Arrangements, endorsed by Ministers in June 2004, has seen Australia continue to work closely with Malaysia and Singapore in developing a response to asymmetric threats, including international terrorism. Defence relationships with Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore were strengthened by the contribution these countries made to regional efforts against terrorism.

Defence's engagement with Vietnam included the first visit to Vietnam by the Australian Minister for Defence. Cooperation on counter-terrorism, as agreed by the Vietnamese and Australian Ministers for Defence, commenced with an inaugural visit to Australia by a Vietnamese special forces delegation and a joint anti malaria project was expanded to include research on dengue fever. Defence relationships with Cambodia and Laos continued to develop at an appropriate level, focused on English language training and officer education. Cooperation with Brunei included several high-level visits and a fee for service aircraft airworthiness survey. Further work to promote strategic policy development was undertaken with Cambodia and Brunei.

Defence participation at regular multilateral Association of South East Asian Nations Regional Forum meetings and active involvement in confidence-building activities, including the Shangri-la Dialogue of Defence Ministers and senior officials, complemented defence bilateral cooperation in the region.

Table 4.21 South-East Asia Summary(1)
$'000 $'000 $'000 $'000 $'000
Singapore 254 231 292 292 165
Philippines 3,047 2,879 2,531 2,531 3,070
Thailand 3,478 3,560 3,018 3,018 3,779
Malaysia 4,483 4,678 4,342 4,342 4,704
Indonesia 4,583 5,048 4,671 4,671 6,060
Timor-Leste 7,504 7,076 9,397 9,397 9,557
Vietnam 1,421 1,898 1,365 1,365 1,631
Cambodia and Laos 1,017 1,000 897 897 1,135
Brunei 44 49 45 45 36
Total 25,831 26,417 26,558 26,558 30,136


  1. Figures may not add due to rounding.


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