Australian PM leaves for Indonesia to conclude free trade deal

03 September, 2018, 02:42 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Scott Morrison

"This can be interpreted as a strong commitment by the Australian prime minister to build strong relations", Widodo told a joint news conference.

"This is a skills transfer and sharing [trade deal]".

It marks Morrison's first overseas visit since he was inaugurated on August 24 as the new prime minister by his fellow Liberal Party members following an internal party coup in a stunning upset over key challenger Peter Dutton.

Morrison said the neighbours were already close partners in the security field, "but it is the economic relationship where we have committed today to take another big step". It is not a transaction.

"The economic relationship is where we are underdone and it is the economic relationship that needs more balance, more grunt, more investment, more engagement". Mr Morrison emphasised the importance of Australia's "shared prosperity" with the economic power house.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo watches as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison signs the guest book at the presidential palace in Bogor, Indonesia August 31, 201.

The pair are also expected to announce the relationship between the two nations will be upgraded from "comprehensive partnership" to "comprehensive and strategic partnership".

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"We have had excellent relations, including people-to-people contact". Australia has recently reached similar agreements with Singapore and Vietnam.

"Trade agreements with neighbouring countries such as the IA-CEPA helps provide our industry with confidence that it can continue to prosper through developing export markets, which helps secure the profitability and competitiveness of the Australian vegetable industry".

·Potatoes - Increased import quota of 10,000t per year, growing to 12,500t per year after five years, with a decreasing tariff schedule during this time.

"We [Indonesia] chose to open our education sector to foreign investment".

"Australia is one of Indonesia's important trading partner in the region and Australia is also one of the important partners for Asia", Mr Joko added.

"It means we can improve the quality of our human resources".

Under the free trade deal, Australian universities are allowed to own shares in Indonesian institution.

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