The Power of Proximity: Australia-Indonesia Economic Relations
By Hugo Seymour from Perth USAsia Centre | 26 Sep 2017
The Perth USAsia Centre and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) convened in Jakarta on 26 September 2017 a distinguished event with Western Australia's Minister for Asian Engagement, Hon. Bill Johnston MLA, to launch the report The Power of Proximity: Enhancing Australia-Indonesia Economic Relations.
- Minister Johnston formally launched the report and also addressed his Government's priorities in the Asian Engagement portfolio. Minister Johnston was joined by former Indonesian Trade Minister and CSIS Senior Fellow Professor Mari Pangestu, Perth USAsia Centre CEO Professor Gordon Flake, ANU's Southeast Asia Institute Director Professor John Blaxland, CSIS Executive Director Dr Philips Vermonte, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Mr Paul Grigson and other guests.
- In July 2017, the Perth USAsia Centre convened at UWA a group of experts on trade policy, diplomacy and business for a meeting of the Australia-Indonesia Working Group. Participants included Dr Marty Natalegawa, Indonesia's former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Professor Mari Pangestu, Indonesia's former Minister for Trade, Tourism and Creative Economy.
- The Working Group examined the ways and means Australia and Indonesia can better integrate their economies and cooperate economically in the Indo-Pacific. The report provides a summary of the key takeaways, opportunities for cooperation and ten recommendations developed by the group to propel the Australia - Indonesia relationship forward.
- Australia and Indonesia both reside at the fulcrum of the Indo-Pacific region. While the two nation's security and strategic relationship is deepening, the trade and investment relationship between the two nations is vastly underdone and must be strengthened.
- In Jakarta, Minister Johnston and distinguished guests discussed the report and how the recommendations could be implemented. This included the methods to harness collective human capital in the education, health and services sectors, facilitate greater levels of job-creating foreign direct investment and also cooperate together to access third markets.
Hugo Seymour is a Research and Program Assistant at the Perth USAsia Centre
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