Indonesia-Australia Business Partnership Group meets in Perth
Business leaders in the Indonesia-Australia Business Partnership Group (BPG) met in Perth today to further develop their plans to facilitate negotiations on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).
The meeting marked the start of Phase II of the BPG’s work, which coincides with re-engagement by the governments of Australia and Indonesia on IA-CEPA negotiations.
Attending the meeting were representatives of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce (KADIN), the Australian Industry Group, the Indonesian Employers Association (APINDO), the Australia-Indonesia Business Council, the Indonesia-Australia Business Council and Kiroyan Partners.
The meeting reviewed the key output from Phase I of the project, the IA-BPG Position Paper, and discussed next steps. It considered administrative issues for the BPG, including budget and timing, and discussed the best way to consult with stakeholders in the business communities in both countries. Participants were briefed on Phase I and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Also at the meeting a Stakeholder Roundtable provided stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss impediments to an ideal relationship between Australia and Indonesia.
The BPG is intending to provide fresh input into IA-CEPA negotiations by the end of June 2016, with a further year of engagement until June 2017.
The group will provide joint Indonesia-Australia business input to negotiators on the key trade, investment and economic cooperation issues the business community believes should be addressed by the IA-CEPA.
It will identify impediments to bilateral trade and investment and recommend ways to eliminate or mitigate them, with the aim of boosting economic growth and enabling a widespread distribution of benefits.
The group will consult extensively with private sector stakeholders in both countries, with the expectation that broad consultations will attract more buy-in from business and may help unblock issues as negotiations progress.
The BPG aims to:
- examine the current trade, investment and economic cooperation profile between the two countries;
- identify economy-wide and sectoral trade and investment opportunities in both countries, as well as how economic cooperation could narrow the development gap between the two countries;
- identify impediments to increasing two-way trade and investment, and to developing greater economic interaction, including the scope for both countries to cooperate to facilitate access to third markets, as well as facilitating increased participation in global value chains;
- assess ways in which increased trade and investment will enhance inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and enable these benefits to be distributed widely through both economies, including to small and medium business and regional areas;
- propose mechanisms and actions to eliminate or mitigate impediments, and facilitate widespread distribution of the benefits of enhanced economic integration;
- make recommendations on the content of the IA-CEPA and its negotiation and implementation; and
- strengthen the understanding and partnership between Indonesian and Australian business communities and contribute to the development of an effective private and public sector dialogue.
The Australian Chamber is providing the secretariat function for the BPG. The Perth meeting was hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Western Australia. The BPG is supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Indonesian Ministry of Trade.