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Aust looks to Indonesia business links

Posted by On 8:27 PM

Aust looks to Indonesia business links

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Australia and Indonesia will sign a free trade deal before Christmas and now both countries are ramping up business links.

New Prime Minister Scott Morrison will address a business breakfast in Jakarta on Saturday, a day after agreeing to conclude negotiations on a trade deal.

Australia and Indonesia are two of the world's 20 largest economies and close neighbours, but neither are in each other's top 10 trading partners.

Mr Morrison said the trade relationship was "under done" and he wants serious investment.

"It is a massive win-win. I mean, this is a skills transfer and sharing. This is building up capabilities within economies," Mr Morrison said on Friday

"That is the part of the relationship where we need to do some more heavy lif ting, the economic relationship."

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Mr Morrison signed a memorandum of understanding committing the countries to get a free trade deal done within months.

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The agreement will free up Indonesia's university sector for Australian investors, allowing up to 67 per cent foreign ownership.

Foreign investors are currently barred from majority ownership in an Indonesian university.

The two countries committed in a joint statement to dealing with rising protectionism, intolerance and threats of conflict.

"If left unattended, these may lead to the dismantling of the precious ecosystem and rules-based regional architecture that we have built over the past half century," the statement said.

The Australia Indonesia Business Counc il said as well as eliminating or reducing tariffs, the deal also includes efforts to build on complementary aspects of both economies.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the deal was timely recognition of the importance of Indonesia as near neighbours and trade partners.

Mr Morrison will address the group of business leaders on Saturday before flying back to Australia.

© AAP 2018

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