Opportunities for WA-Indonesia Engagement

On Friday 21 October, The Perth USAsia Centre partnered with Invest and Trade WA to deliver Indonesia Connect 2022. Designed to deepen Western Australia-Indonesia relations by providing a platform for meaningful discussion on investment and trade opportunities, Indonesia Connect brought together leaders from business, government and academia for a one-day conference.

Indonesia Connect was attended by both in-person and virtual guests, and featured prominent speakers including Mark McGowan, Premier of Western Australia, Krista Dunstan, WA Trade and Investment Commissioner for the ASEAN region, George Marantika, President of the Indonesia Australia Business Council, Larissa Taylor, WA Chair of the Australia Indonesia Business Council and Anthony Harsono, Director or PT Samator Indonesia.

The WA-Indonesia economic relationship is ripe with opportunities, enabled by the landmark Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA). Indonesia is Western Australia’s 9th largest trading partner, and the rapid economic growth of Indonesia’s economy coupled with WA’s status as Australia’s economic powerhouse will prove to be a recipe for success in years to come.  

Practical steps must be taken now to take advantage of these economic opportunities. With clear complementarities in the digital transformation and sustainable energy transition, Indonesia Connect focused on three key areas for deepened engagement, including skills development, emerging technology and supply chain resilience.

Perth USAsia Centre Research Director Dr Kate O’Shaughnessy chaired the discussion on supply chain resilience, where participants identified both supply chain vulnerabilities and opportunities. The Covid pandemic and recent cases of economic coercion have exposed where these vulnerabilities lie, causing many countries – including Australia and Indonesia – to prioritise supply chain security.

Through new regional trade instrument including IA-CEPA and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Australia and Indonesia can work together to recast regional supply chains, particularly in agriculture, the battery and EV value chain, and the digital economy.

These economic opportunities will not unfold on their own – building economic relationships required sustained effort from federal and state governments and the business community. But the framework and political will is there, and Western Australia is ideally positioned to seize this opportunity.

To read more about the WA-Indonesia economic relationship, download our short explainer, Indonesia Connect: Opportunities for WA-Indonesia Engagement, below.

An illustration of a black, green, blue and yellow bird appears above the words 'Indonesia Connect'.

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