16 March 2016
The Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E Thomas Trikasih Lembong
and the Minister of Trade and Investment of Australia, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP met
in Canberra on 16 March 2016. They discussed ways to enhance trade and economic
relations between Indonesia and Australia.
Minister Lembong and Minister Ciobo agreed that bilateral trade and investment ties
were underdeveloped given the complementarities between the two economies and
their geographic proximity.
Ministers agreed to reactivate negotiations on an Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive
Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA). They believed a successful Agreement
would serve as a new platform toward a modern and dynamic economic partnership
that reflects the strong bonds between the two countries. This initiative signals the
determination of both governments to create conditions that are conducive to
expanded two way trade and investment and will maximise the potential of the
Reflecting our shared vision, we agreed IA-CEPA will proceed on the basis of the
following core principles:
- both sides will strive to ensure the final agreement is high quality and as
comprehensive as possible, covering trade in goods and services, investment
and economic cooperation, and that it is balanced and delivers mutual benefits
- the final agreement should build upon the existing multilateral and regional
agreements as well as negotiations between Indonesia and Australia.
Both countries agree to aim to provide to each other at least the outcomes in our
existing free trade agreements. We intend that IA-CEPA will be a living agreement
that can be expanded over time and include mechanisms for stakeholder input.
Minister Lembong and Minister Ciobo expressed their satisfaction with the initial
identification of possible early outcomes by the Chief Negotiators including in red
meat and cattle, skills, financial services, professional services, food processing, food
and drug standards, agriculture, design, infrastructure and education. These outcomes
would reiterate the significance of IA-CEPA and project the opportunities presented
by the coming agreement. They instructed officials to commence work immediately
on these possible early outcomes with the aim of reaching final understandings as
soon as possible this year.
Ministers also conveyed their appreciation for the level of engagement of business
sectors and announced the reactivation of the Indonesia-Australia Business
Partnership Group (IA-BPG) to update their reports and recommendations. As evident
from the previous report, collaboration between business communities of the two
countries would further boost the progress of negotiations.
Ministers directed officials to progress IA-CEPA expeditiously and the next (3rd)
comprehensive round of negotiations will be held in Indonesia in early May.