Indonesia, Australia sign comprehensive economic partnership | Vietnam+

Australia and Indonesia sign historic free trade deal after months of uncertainty

Australia and Indonesia sign historic free trade deal after months of uncertainty

The 500,000 tonnes will be imported duty free and the quota will grow by 5 per cent a year.

IA-CEPA was signed by Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita and Australian Trade, Tourism, and Investment Minister Simon Birmingham.

National Farmers Federation chief executive Tony Maher said the benefits were significant, not just for traditional red meat, grain and dairy farmers but also for the horticultural sector in potatoes and carrots.

Mr Crean said the finalisation of the agreement was testament to several years of hard work by Australian and Indonesian negotiating teams. Both countries will work to expedite the ratification process, he said.

Australia's live cattle exports are set to increase under the agreement, with tariffs to be eliminated and the number of animals exported to Indonesia allowed to increase 4 percent a year until reaching 700,000.

"In effect, 500,000 tonnes of duty-free quota for Australian feed grains of barley, sorghum and wheat is an additional 12,000 B-doubles (truckloads) of Australian grain going into Asia".

"Under this agreement, Australia's world-leading resources sector will have access to greater trade opportunities - increasing mineral and energy exports and creating more highly-paid, highly-skilled jobs", Constable said.

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"But having said that, trade with Indonesia is fundamentally important". That is why the name of this agreement, the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, is more than a title, it aptly describes the ongoing cooperative partnership that will be forged between our two business communities.

Mr Mackay said the signing was a good first step and that the industry looked forward to ratification and continued trade relationship development from the Australian to the Indonesian Government.

Rosan Roeslani, chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), said he expected his country's textile and footwear industries to benefit the most from the agreement. The agreement will eventually see the elimination of all Australian trade tariffs, while 94 per cent of Indonesian duties will be gradually eliminated.

"It will be very good for the Western Australian farmers because they rely heavily on exports".

"Importantly, Australia's merchandise exports to Indonesia were approximately $7 billion in 2017, making Indonesia Australia's 9th largest export market in 2017", said Andrews.

Both ministers touted the deal as indicative of deepening ties between the two countries, which have occasionally butted heads on foreign policy issues, including Australia's hardline policy on asylum seekers.

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