11December2017

Home Editorial Indonesian-Australian Economic Cooperation Agreement to Be Immediately Completed in 2017

Indonesian-Australian Economic Cooperation Agreement to Be Immediately Completed in 2017

The dynamics of relations between Indonesia and Australia often undergo ups and downs. Although problems sometimes occur, as close neighbors, both countries are very integral. Moreover, both Indonesia and Australia also need each other in terms of economic, cultural and social and security aspects. Referring to the dynamic relationship, the governments of Indonesia and Australia have been negotiating trade agreements and investment in the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement - CEPA which is going to be completed sooner.

In regard to this, State Cabinet Secretary, Pramono Agung after attending a limited cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday, (February 21) said that through the signing of Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), the value of trade and investment of both countries is expected to increase. He also said that the Indonesian government hopes the talks between the two countries will be completed by 2017. So, the implementation of the agreement can be realized immediately.

Meanwhile, Head of the Investment Coordinating Board -BKPM, Thomas Lembong said, he along with Trade Minister, Enggartiasto Lukita has reported to President Joko Widodo that negotiations with Australia took place quite smoothly. There was no significant obstacle in completing the agreement this year. Thomas Lembong also remarked that if the agreement of IA-CEPA can successfully completed, it will be the first bilateral agreement in the field of trade and investment between Indonesia and Australia over the last 10 years. Within the IA-CEPA, the cooperation between Indonesia and Australia is not only focused on trade. Thomas Lembong affirmed that there are few strategic sectors offered by both countries as investment in the mining, finance and tourism sectors.

Looking at the importance of relations between the two sides, IA-CEPA deserves being prioritized, because many benefits can be achieved and studied by Indonesia. For example, Australian financial sector is considered to be advanced and it has a sizable asset. In addition, Australia has undergone rapid technological advancement.

However, Indonesia has to be careful because the policy of Australian government often changes as how Australia looks at Indonesia. Indonesia certainly expects the wiretapping incident towards Indonesian senior officials not to happen again. This was carried out by Australia some time ago. In addition, the handling of the cases of narcotics, boat people and regional security that are sometimes detrimental to Indonesia can be used as a main consideration to be partner with Australia.

Problems always emerge, but all of them are not barriers to pursue cooperation for mutual benefits of both countries.

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