Australian Premier to visit Indonesia to strengthen economic ties

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Jakarta – Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is expected to arrive in Indonesia on June 5, 2022, on a three-day visit to strengthen the two countries’ economic partnership as part of post-pandemic recovery efforts.

Santo Darmosumarto, director of East Asia and the Pacific at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated during an online media briefing from Jakarta on Thursday that Albanese will undertake his first bilateral visit to Indonesia following his inauguration as Australia’s 31st prime minister in May.

“It has long been customary for newly-installed Australian prime ministers to make Indonesia their first (outside) stop. Prime Minister Albanese appears to be carrying on the tradition,” He stated.

On June 6, Albanese will meet with President Joko Widodo. The two presidents are likely to discuss efforts to strengthen economic cooperation, especially the execution of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), which was signed in 2020 but has yet to be implemented.

“Although trade between the two countries is expected to increase by up to 70% in 2021, many things are still falling short of expectations. As a result, the conversation will revolve on the subject that has captured the attention of the two leaders, ” Darmosumarto explained.

Albanese’s visit to Indonesia also underscores the relevance of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which was established in 2018 to enable cooperation between the two countries in a variety of domains, including defense, security, and democracy, he noted.

When asked if Albanese will bring up AUKUS, a trilateral security alliance between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, he indicated Indonesia will focus on economic matters during Albanese’s visit.

“Indonesia recognizes that the dimension of cooperation with Australia has now embraced additional topics, such as economic cooperation and people-to-people contacts, which appear to dominate interaction between the two nations,” he said.

Albanese will be joined to Indonesia by his new Cabinet ministers, notably Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

Wong is slated to meet bilaterally with her Indonesian counterpart, Retno L.P. Marsudi, the day before the two nations’ annual leaders’ conference on June 6.

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