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Albanese says Australian businesses 'raring to go' as he promises stronger economic ties with Indonesia

The Guardian - June 6, 2022

Katharine Murphy – Anthony Albanese says Australia's economic relationship with Indonesia has "struggled to keep pace" with the country's "extraordinary economic rise" but the new government in Canberra will dig in behind emerging opportunities, including partnerships in clean energy.

Before travelling on Tuesday to Makassar, on the southern tip of Sulawesi – a region the Indonesian president wants to develop – Australia's prime minister told business leaders in Jakarta that Indonesia was "central to our trade diversification strategy".

Albanese said his government would do what it could to ensure Australian businesses were able to make use of opportunities associated with the reorientation of Indonesia's economy towards manufacturing and services, and businesses were "raring to go".

The prime minister said the new Labor government was determined to take more ambitious action on climate change and develop a partnership with Indonesia to drive the clean energy transition.

"By working together we can reduce global emissions, build resilience to the impacts of climate change, unlock green trade and investment opportunities and strengthen clean energy supply chains," Albanese said on Monday night.

"That is a big agenda. You can do it if you have energy and purpose and a commitment not to waste a single day in government and that is my objective".

Albanese has been accompanied on the trip by a high-powered business delegation, including senior executives from Fortescue, BlueScope, Sun Cable, Telstra, Thales Australia and Wesfarmers.

The dinner with business leaders in Jakarta wrapped up the prime minister's busy program in Jakarta. Earlier in the day Albanese had his first official meeting with President Joko Widodo at Bogor Palace. Their encounter included a bike ride around the grounds.

Albanese was afforded a ceremonial welcome and the two leaders discussed the war in Ukraine, regional cooperation and growing strategic competition in the region – meaning China's increasingly assertive posture in the Indo-Pacific, which is the backdrop to the Labor government's accelerated diplomatic outreach across the region.

In Makassar Albanese will visit a university, local businesses and call on foreign dignitaries.

The prime minister has made a point of travelling to a region outside the Indonesian capital, saying the country was about more than the bustling city of Jakarta or the tourist mecca of Bali.

On Monday he said Australians understood Indonesia was a diverse nation that was about "much more than Jakarta".

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jun/07/albanese-says-australian-businesses-raring-to-go-as-he-promises-stronger-economic-ties-with-indonesi