Indonesia and Australia officially to sign Free Trade Agreement called IA-CEPA in Jakarta today. Photo by The Ministry.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Today is the end of the waiting eight-years of trade negotiations between Indonesia and Australia by signed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) in Jakarta, on Monday (03/04). With this trade contract, the two countries agreed to focus on eliminating tariffs and addressing ‘Non-Tariff Barriers’.

The signing ceremony held by Indonesia’ Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita with Australian Minister of Trade, Investment and Tourism Simon Birmingham witnessed by Vice President Jusuf Kalla. 

“This is a positive result, because it means the whole product Indonesia entering the Australian market is not subject to import duties,” said Lukita.

He noted, with IA-CEPA, Indonesian products that have the potential to exports are automotive products (especially electric and hybrid cars), wood and derivatives including furniture, textiles and textile products, tires, communication equipment, medicines, machinery, and electronic equipment.

In the services sector, Indonesia will gain access to the services trade market in Australia, to increase in the quota of work and vacation visas from 1,000 visas to 4,100 visas in the first year of the implementation of the IA-CEPA and will increase by five percent in the following years.

In addition, Indonesia will also get various programs to improve the quality of resources humans such as apprenticeship programs made based on the needs of the industrial and economic sectors that are directly related to Australian investment in the vocational education sector.

In terms of the investment climate, the ministers said, IA-CEPA will provide better investor protection. Is available 400 Australian companies to operating in Indonesia. Furthermore, Australia would also provide opportunities for young Indonesians to gain experience and help Australia regional to meet the requirements of the seasonal workforce by providing 3,000 additional work and holiday visas.

Birmingham said Australian frozen meat, live cattle, feed grains, milk, oranges and rolled steel will receive favorable treatment based on the agreement.

“Thrilled to sign the IA-CEPA today with my counterpart Enggartiasto Lukita. This historic agreement will create new trade opportunities for and businesses, boost two-way investment and increase prosperity in both countries,” he told in a written statement.

Australia is Indonesia’ ninth largest trading partner in 2017 with a total trade value of US$8.53 billion, of which Indonesia’s exports to Australia reached $2.52 billion, while Indonesia’s imports from Australia reached $6 billion. This shows that the trade balance still tends to favor Australia at $3.48 billion.

On the other hand, Indonesia’ Investment Board stated that Australia was the 13th largest source of foreign investment in Indonesia in 2017, with a value of $ 513.9 million.

Written by Daniel Deha, Email: daniel@theinsiderstories.com