The Australian Prime Minister signals stronger ties with Indonesia in the field of security and climate World news

Written by Zahra Matarani and Stanley Widianto

JAKARTA (Reuters) – During his first bilateral visit on Monday, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced deepened relations with neighboring Indonesia and promised closer co-operation in trade, security and climate change.

Before the official talks began, Albanese accompanied his host, President Joko Widod, on a ride through the Presidential Palace in Bogor on bamboo wheels.

The new Australian Prime Minister stressed the importance of working with the largest economy in Southeast Asia and brought a high-level business delegation to Indonesia, along with Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Trade Minister Don Farrell.

“Indonesia is well on its way to becoming one of the world’s five largest economies,” Albanese said. “Reviving our trade and investment relations is a priority for my government.”

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The government will work to realize the potential of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), he said, and also offer technical expertise to develop Indonesia’s planned new green and high-tech capital, Nusantara.

Albanese reiterated its promise of A $ 470 million ($ 338.49 million) over four years for overseas development in Indonesia and the region, A $ 200 million for a climate and infrastructure partnership with Indonesia, and the establishment of a new Southeast Asia office in the Australian foreign affairs.

“In line with my government’s ambitious climate goals, I want better access to affordable, reliable and secure clean energy throughout our region as we move together into a world without net zero,” he said.

The journey comes as the new Australian Labor government, which ended nearly a decade of conservative rule in the May 21 election, points to a greater emphasis on South East Asia and climate change, an issue crucial to its Pacific neighbors as it directs relations with more determined China.

The new Malaysian-born Australian foreign minister, who previously said Indonesia is not receiving the attention it deserves under the former administration, met with Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on Sunday.

President Jokowi, as the Indonesian leader is widely known, stressed the importance of both countries strengthening their bilateral commitments in the face of current global challenges.

Jokowi reiterated the importance of the Strategic Economic Partnership and IA-CEPA, which will enable more Indonesians to work in Australia, the recent opening of the Monash University campus in Greater Jakarta, and the importance of food security and sustainability.

Before leaving for Makassar in eastern Indonesia, Albanese is also expected to meet with Lim Jock Hoi, secretary general of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) based in Jakarta.

(1 dollar = 1.3885 Australian dollars)

(Written by Kate Lamb; Edited by Martin Petty; Edited by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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