AIBCnews: Issue 180 - July 2019

Dear Members and Friends,

Once again this month, we find ourselves with a renewed escalation in the US-China Trade War, driving Share Markets and Global Growth forecasts sharply lower, and placing perhaps even greater emphasis on the Trade Agreements developing in our region. Only in the last week, Trade Minister Birmingham has attended the 8th Round of RCEP Negotiations in Beijing, at the same time as the Australian and Indonesian Governments advance IA-CEPA towards ratification later this year.

On IA-CEPA, we have been delighted to join our Ambassador to Indonesia, Gary Quinlan AO, and Elizabeth Ward, Chief Negotiator - Regional Trade Agreements Division (DFAT), at a variety of events around the country (see articles below). Together with DFAT and Austrade, AIBC has been very active in promoting IA-CEPA to our Members and the broader business community, and in advocacy for the ratification of the Agreement.

Also in the last month, Australia’s Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) has formed to review a number of Agreements, including IA-CEPA, and has called for public submissions. AIBC will be making a strong submission in support of IA-CEPA in its entirety, and would urge all to consider making a submission here before the closing date of 23 August. It is important our business community supports IA-CEPA, and makes its voice heard by JSCOT as it makes its recommendations to the Australian Parliament.

President Joko Widodo has announced the relocation of Indonesia’s capital to a location in Kalimantan

As both Governments settle back in after their elections, Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, has committed to ‘sweeping reforms’ over his final 5-year term as President, aimed at attracting foreign investment and ‘unleashing the potential of Southeast Asia’s biggest economy’. Also strongly on Indonesia’s agenda, is the long-suggested relocation of its capital away from Jakarta, and the densely populated and natural disaster prone island of Java, with a location in Kalimantan recently announced by the President. As many would appreciate Jakarta is under significant pressure from its vast population, and the fact that the city continues to sink into the Java Sea.

To continue reading the entire edition of AIBC's July news, please click here.