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As countries begin to expand their technological reach, Australia has made the decision to extend its diplomacy to the Indo-Pacific region through a new International Cyber and Critical Technology Engagement Strategy.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne has provided that this strategy is designed to build a “safe, secure and prosperous Australia, Indo-Pacific region and world enabled by’ upcoming technology. A total of $37.5M has been allotted to developing and strengthening cybersecurity capacity and technological adaptability in the Indo-Pacific region. This will in turn be used to combat cybercrime, improve online safety, mitigate against misinformation, and foster the development of artificial intelligence and the internet of things.

This strategy is also designed with Australia’s national interests in mind. In both 2019 and 2020, Australia suffered cyber-attacks, particularly in its government sector. This strategy signifies a positive step in enhancing Australia’s capacity to fight cybercrime, particularly by enlisting the help of its neighbouring nations. Additionally, the Australian government has provided that its focus is on maintaining Australia’s “international peace and stability…rather than regulating the technologies themselves.”

Moreover, as Australia has moved to develop many trade partnerships, with countries such as Singapore, this strategy will become critical in reinforcing its relationship with its Southeast Asian partners. We are at a time where countries need to unite and deploy secure and transparent technological pathways that develop economic, political and social infrastructure. Projects such as this strategy will influence global standards and become increasingly important as the world transitions into a new digital age.

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