Australia and the Indian Ocean region

Australia is a prominent Indian Ocean state, with the state of Western Australia as our gateway. We boast the region's longest Indian Ocean coastline as well as its largest Search and Rescue Zone. The Indian Ocean is also home to some of our largest hydrocarbon deposits, and important offshore territories. Australia is committed to playing a leading role in managing the opportunities and challenges in the region over the coming decades.

The Indian Ocean region is economically significant. It is a crucial conduit for global trade, accounting for half the world's container traffic, and is home to some of the world's fastest growing economies. An estimated 40 per cent of the world's offshore oil production comes from the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean region includes five of Australia's top 15 trading partners: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

The Indian Ocean region is also strategically significant. The increasing presence and influence of growing powers is shifting established dynamics. Australia is contributing to regional stability through deeper regional cooperation, developing norms and building regional capacity to address challenges peacefully.  We are also encouraging a resilient rules-based order by strengthening regional approaches to terrorism, transnational crime, illegal fishing, trade and climate change.

Australia is responding to regional economic and strategic issues by engaging with key regional forums, such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association; advocating for more diverse forms of regional dialogue and cooperation, including through trilateral and other small group arrangements; and through well-established bilateral relationships.

Last Updated: 29 May 2019