Sunday 26th May, 2019

Landmark trade deal to benefit Australian farmers, manufacturers

Photo: Ingram Publishing

The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IC-CEPA) will create new trade opportunities for Australian and Indonesian businesses, boost two-way investment and increase prosperity in both countries, according to Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham.

Australia and Indonesia signed the IC-CEPA on 4 March 2019.

With a population of 270 million and high levels of economic growth, Indonesia is on track to become one of the world’s largest economies, according to Birmingham.

“This is a great deal for Australia: it means that 99 per cent of Australian goods (by value) will enter Indonesia duty-free or under significantly improved preferential arrangements by 2020,” he said.

“A stronger economic partnership with Indonesia will provide a major boost for Australian farmers. Under the agreement, producers of grains, live cattle and meat, dairy and horticulture, and many other products will benefit from lower tariffs and improved access to Indonesian markets.

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“For example, Australian grain growers will be able to export feed grains into Indonesia tariff free, building on our substantial milling wheat exports.”

IA-CEPA will also reportedly support Australian manufacturing, particularly steel, copper and plastics.

“The agreement guarantees that majority Australian-owned businesses can take advantage of the exciting investment opportunities available in Indonesia’s rapidly expanding economy,” Birmingham said.

“This includes providing vocational education to Indonesia’s growing population through work training programs, establishing tourism-related businesses to serve the needs of Indonesia’s burgeoning tourist industry, running private hospitals to provide world-class healthcare, and participating in the construction of Indonesia’s growing list of infrastructure projects.”

This agreement with Indonesia builds on the multitude of trade deals the Australian Government has struck, which led Australia registering a record $22.2 billion trade surplus in 2018.

“We are committed to fully ratifying IA-CEPA as soon as possible so Australian farmers and businesses can start to reap the benefits of this historic agreement,” said Birmingham.