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South-East Asia, Oceania and Antarctica

Relations with South-East Asia and Oceania

With approximately 653 million inhabitants and a total GDP of almost 2,800 billion euros, the countries of South-East Asia together are the fifth largest economy on the planet (average growth rate of over 4%) with 8.6% of the world’s population. Italy has a network of 7 Embassies and 1 Consulate, in addition to 5 ICE Offices.

Italy’s most important partners in the area include:

  • ·Vietnam, its first economic partner;
  • ·Indonesia, which hosts the ASEAN Secretariat and is the only G20 country in the organisation);
  • ·Thailand;
  • Singapore, a global financial and innovation hub.

Our interests are also growing strongly in Malaysia and the Philippines. Relations with Laos, Cambodia, Brunei and East Timor are more sporadic, but regular.

Relations with Myanmar are marked by the crisis caused by the coup d’état of February 1, 2021 that Italy was among the first countries to condemn. We keep on working with EU and G7 partners to end the violent repression, find a peaceful solution and obtain the release of all political detainees. We support the EU sanctions against those responsible, as well as the mediation efforts of ASEAN and the UN in the wake of the so-called Five Point Consensus.

In Oceania, Italy has 2 Embassies and 5 Consulates, as we as an ICE office. The area is at the centre of strong regional rivalries and of crucial trade and energy routes. Australia, a member of the G20, and New Zealand are dynamic players with which Italy has very close political, economic and cultural relations, also thanks to their large resident Italian communities. Italy proactively supports small island countries in coping with climate change and its consequences.