Australia and Indonesia today announced a 100-day plan to implement a long-awaited trade deal, hoping to deepen bilateral trade that is currently worth a $12 billion a year. Both the nations hailed a ‘new beginning’ for their troubled relationship in the past. Visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo also addressed Australia’s parliament.
In a joint public appearance with Widodo in Canberra, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined a 100-day action plan for implementation. He called the long-delayed deal a “mutually beneficial arrangement, one that sees the cooperation of our economies for the strong growth that we will see over the next decade and beyond”.
Widodo said his visit marked ‘a new beginning of a new relationship’ between the two sides. The Australia-Indonesia trade deal, negotiations over which began in 2010, was ratified by Indonesia’s parliament last week, according to global newswires.
The agreement will eventually see elimination of all Australian trade tariffs, while 94 per cent of Indonesian duties will be gradually eliminated. Greater access to the Australian market is expected to spur Indonesia’s automotive and textile industries. The pact also includes improved access for Australia’s agriculture industry to Indonesia’s vast market of 260 million people.
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