Media release from The Hon Steven Ciobo MP
Today I met with Indonesia’s Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita as momentum builds to concluding a free trade agreement.
While it is unfortunate President Widodo had to postpone his visit, Minister Lukita's decision to visit Australia at this time to discuss the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership
Agreement (IA-CEPA) reflects the importance of this agreement to both governments.
IA-CEPA will create the framework for a new era of closer economic engagement between our countries and open new markets and opportunities for Australian businesses, primary producers and service providers.
Negotiations, re-launched earlier this year, are progressing well as we work towards concluding by the end of 2017. Minister Lukita and I have agreed to pursue an ambitious and high quality agreement.
The IA-CEPA has the ability to transform the Australia-Indonesia economic partnership.
While Indonesia is our largest neighbour and important regional partner, our trade and economic relationship can and should be much stronger. Australia’s two-way trade with Indonesia was valued at $15 billion in 2015 making it only our 13th largest trade partner.
The IA-CEPA will bring our economies closer and enable Australian and Indonesian businesses to benefit from the strong complementarities between our economies, creating new export opportunities for Australian businesses.
With a population of more than 255 million – including a middle class of more than 45 million forecast to grow to 135 million by 2020 – the IA-CEPA will open the doors to supply the growing needs of Indonesian consumers with Australian goods and services.
IA-CEPA will also create opportunities for Australian and Indonesian businesses to work together to tap into the burgeoning opportunities to our north.
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