Jakarta – The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) welcomed the signing of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) on Monday.
Kadin's chairman, Rosan P Roeslani, said the agreement was not only important to boost trade between the two countries, but it was expected to increase investment in various sectors such as education, health, tourism and human resources development.
"It is important for Indonesia to immediately conduct economic reform as part of the efforts to fulfill the commitment stipulated in the IA-CEPA," said Rosan in a statement received by The Jakarta Post.
Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita and Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Simon Birmingham signed the IA-CEPA document on Monday in Jakarta after it was delayed several times.
Initially, it was planned to be signed in late 2017 but it was delayed because the negotiators of both countries needed to resolve a number of issues. The document was then earmarked to be signed late last year, but it was again delayed.
Meanwhile, Kadin deputy chairman Shinta W Kamdani said under the agreement, Indonesia and Australia have to support each other when facing global challenges and competing with other countries. "The IA-CEPA is not merely for now, but it should be seen as how we see world economic challenges in the future," she added.
Indonesia is Australia's ninth trade partner with a total trade value of US$8.53 billion in 2017, when Indonesia had a large deficit. Indonesian exports to Australia reached $2.53 billion, while imports were recorded at $6 billion.
Meanwhile, Australia's total investment in Indonesia was recorded at $513.9 million in 2017. (bbn)