Australia and Indonesia have committed to completing the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership by the end of 2017.
First launched in 2010 and reactivated in 2016, the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership (IA-CEPA) will aim to create the framework for a new era of closer economic engagement between Australia and Indonesia.
The IA-CEPA is considered by the nations’ respective Trade Ministers as marking a ‘radical shift in our trade and investment ties.
The IA-CEPA is ambitiously set to ‘go beyond last generation trade agreements and address 21st Century opportunities and issues’ with the objectives of increasing connectivity within the digital economy, improving e-commerce capability and ensuring free flow of information and investment.
Commitments to services and investment within the IA-CEPA will be prioritised by both countries as despite a long history of bilateral relations and close geographical proximity, the total Australian investment in Indonesia is less than 1% of Australia’s total outbound investment.
Additionally, many are advocating for further commitments to stronger capacity building and vocational training cooperation to improve competency standards and thus enable workers in both markets to access additional labour markets.
As the clock winds down, negotiators will increase the frequency of meetings to respond to the shifting strategic and economic landscape within the Indo-pacific region and reach an agreement that will rejuvenate and drive economic growth in both countries.
Story: John Farrugia