Australia and Indonesia could finalise a stronger new economic partnership within 12 months, Australia’s trade minister Steve Ciobo said yesterday after meeting with his Indonesian counterpart in Sydney.
Mr Ciobo and Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita discuss the proposed Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).
Mr Ciobo said the agreement will enable 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,” Mr Ciobo said.
“Minister Lukita and I have agreed to pursue an ambitious and high quality agreement.”
Mr Ciobo said that two-way trade between Australia and Indonesia should be much stronger than it currently is, and said the IA-CEPA had the ability to transform the Australia-Indonesia economic partnership.
Mr Ciobo told the media that that Minister Lukita had indicated there would be no cattle quotas under the IA-CEPA, and that he was in favour of annual cattle permits.
“We’re working together to make sure that Indonesia’s need for increased beef cattle and Australia’s desire to sell more beef cattle is in a position that’s going to produce a win-win outcome,” Mr Ciobo said, as quoted by News.com.
Mr Ciobo said his Sunday meeting with Mr Lukita was “warm” and both sides were keen to tap into the “huge potential” of the Indonesia-Australia relationship.
The partnership set to take effect in early 2018.