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Australia to strengthen economic cooperation with Indonesia

For many countries within the ASEAN region, the work toward post COVID-19 economic recovery has begun. Especially in countries where the COVID-19 curve had flattened, namely Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Singapore, stabilizing the economy has become a priority, giving rise to significant opportunities for ASEAN countries and neighboring regions such as Western Australia (WA) to connect across various industries.

WA will therefore hold the 2020 WA-ASEAN Trade and Investment Dialogue, aiming to strengthen trade and investment connections with member countries of ASEAN. The dialogue is designed to strengthen economic and institutional understanding between Western Australia and Southeast Asian countries, by showcasing complementary opportunities for trade and investment growth, as well as discussing issues of shared economic interest.

WA Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation will host the dialogue, together with Perth USAsia Centre, a non-partisan international relations think tank based at the University of Western Australia. Those who participate in the dialogue will find online daily events covering a range of topics from economic partnerships, agribusiness, 21st century energy and resources demand, to unlocking investment opportunities and rebuilding WA-ASEAN connections post COVID-19. A member of ASEAN, Indonesia is one of the countries that WA has been maintaining a strong connection with, even during the onset of COVID-19. This strong connection, for instance, is reflected in the Indonesian-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), which came into effect in July.

Among the economic partnerships is Australia being Indonesia’s preferred food security partner, as WA is a major exporter of cereal grains (wheat, canola and barley), beef cattle, sheep and wool. Knowing that ASEAN countries are rapidly improving their infrastructure and enhancing their digital technology capabilities, WA has established many diaspora-affiliated Asia business councils, as well as “Asia capability” private sector resources, and a network of trade offices across the region.

Furthermore, WA regards ASEAN as a present opportunity, therefore the dialogue will showcase forward-thinking WA businesses who already see partnerships with their ASEAN neighbors as a key driver of growth. This understanding gives hope for WA and ASEAN to strongly build capacity and promote prosperity across both economies.

(source: The Jakarta Post)