The Opera House of Sydney, Australia. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

This will be the first time that Australia hosts an ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit.

In a joint statement with Premier of New South Wales Gladys Berejiklian, the Australian Prime Minister confirmed that Sydney has been chosen as the host city for the event to be held in March 2018.

The statement noted that the summit is an historic and unprecedented opportunity to strengthen Australia's strategic partnership with ASEAN and deliver tangible economic and security benefits to Australia.

Within the framework of the ASEAN – Australia Special Summit, two major side-events will also be held. The first one is a Business Summit which will bring together leaders of industry and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to unlock new opportunities for job-creation, investment and enterprise.  The other one is a Counter-Terrorism Conference, which will underscore global leadership and collective regional action to combat terrorism.

The Australian Government expects that the Special Summit will create an enormous economic opportunity for Sydney, increasing visitor numbers to the city for the critical global forum.

ASEAN is one of Australia's top trading partners. In the financial year of 2015-2016, Australia's total trade with ASEAN countries amounted to AUD92.9 billion (USD71 billion), more than with Japan, the European Union or the US./.

CPV/VNA