TRADE with Indonesia is getting cheaper, with the recent announcement tariffs for Australian sugar would be slashed, and negotiations for the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) are progressing.
Trade minister Steven Ciobo’s announcement was welcomed by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Chamber’s CEO James Pearson said the tariffs on Australian raw sugar going into Indonesia were set to reduce from 8% to 5%, bringing tariffs into line with those paid on Thai sugar, making Australian sugar more competitive.
“This announcement is an important step towards the broader goal of an Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement [IA-CEPA],” he said.
“The Australian Chamber wants to see a truly comprehensive trade agreement with our nearest neighbour, one that will benefit Australian and Indonesian businesses across all sectors and consumers in both countries.
“We’re looking forward to seeing this agreement completed by the end of the year.”
Meanwhile the Western Australian government is working to increase its trade ties with Indonesia.
The state’s minister for Asian engagement Bill Johnston is in the country this week, visiting the capital Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung to capitalise on the rapid population and economic growth to create more opportunities in Western Australia.
“Indonesia is a significant export market for goods and services in WA, but there is still untapped potential in our trade and cultural relationship,” Mr Johnston said.
Exports from Western Australia to Indonesia were valued at $2.4bn in the 2016-17 financial year, an increase of 31% on the previous year. Petroleum, wheat and iron ore were the biggest export.