Archived News

AIBCnews: Issue 185 - January / February 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

Welcome to our first newsletter for 2020, timed to follow closely behind the historic State Visit to Australia by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo. The visit also coincided with ratification by the Indonesian Parliament of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) that AIBC has been championing for more than a decade, and which promises to herald in a new era for Australia-Indonesia relations.

President Joko Widodo is welcomed at Government House, Canberra, by Australia’s Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)

In the months over Christmas and the New Year, both countries were deeply affected by natural disasters that claimed many lives - fires across Australia and damaging flooding in Jakarta. As another demonstration of the closeness between our nations, a team of Indonesian Military (TNI) Engineers joined recovery efforts from the Australian fires, ironically also being called in to assist with flood situations that also struck parts of Australia.

On his visit, the President was joined by key Ministers including Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto, Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto, and BKPM Chairman Bahlil Lahadalia. Also joining was a business delegation led by Rosan Roeslani, Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), who has worked alongside AIBC and the other Members of the Indonesia-Australia Business Partnership Group (IA-BPG) for many years guiding the development of IA-CEPA. Pak Rosan also has the important role as Chair of Indonesia’s Omnibus Bill Taskforce, with the first proposed legislative changes aimed at job creation and taxation, and improved investment conditions.

During the visit I was delighted to meet with President Jokowi on several occasions, and represent AIBC at a number of events including his Address to the Joint Houses of Parliament (translated text here), Prime Minister’s Luncheon, State Luncheon hosted by the Governor General and Business Roundtable with the CEOs and top executives of some of Australia’s most prominent companies (many of which are AIBC Members). Other AIBC Board Members and AIBC Members more generally also attended a number of these events, and contributed to the success of the President’s visit. Aside from a number of initiatives foreshadowed in various sectors, leading much of the education and business conversation was Monash University, and their commitment to establish a campus in Indonesia under the new provisions of IA-CEPA.

President Joko Widodo addresses the Indonesia-Australia Business Roundtable joined by Foreign Minister - Retno Marsudi, Trade Minister - Agus Suparmanto, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal & Security Affairs - Mahfud MD, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs - Airlannga Hartarto, BKPM Chairman - Bahlil Lahadalia, KADIN Chairman - Rosan Roeslani, AIBC National President – Phil Turtle and others.

With IA-CEPA now ratified we are, in the words of Trudy Witbreuk, Australia’s Lead Negotiator through much of IA-CEPA’s development, “at the end of the beginning”, and with entry into force of the Agreement a matter of 2 months away, AIBC and the IA-BPG have an important role to play in the socialisation of the Agreement and its successful implementation.

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