TONY Abbott’s inclusion of business representatives in his first visit as Prime Minister to Indonesia endorses an economic action plan released by the Business Council of Australia (BCA) before the election, says its president.
Jennifer Westacott says the plan calls for a focus on relations with our northern neighbours, including the establishment of high-level CEO dialogue.
“And this trip gets us off to a great start,” says Westacott.
She joined Abbott and senior Coalition ministers as part of an Australian Business Delegation which met with Indonesian counterparts to discuss strengthening the two-way economic relationship.
“Nothing could send a clearer message that Australia is open for business and looking for trade and investment opportunities than the Prime Minister taking such a senior business delegation on his first overseas trip as leader, within two weeks of winning the election.
“Including Australian business leaders in the trip shows we are serious about stronger trade and investment with Indonesia, and that we understand the huge opportunities for both countries from closer engagement and cooperation.
"With Indonesia on track to be in the world’s 10 biggest economies by 2025, adding 90 million new consumers by 2030, there are immense opportunities for Australia in financial services, health, agriculture, resources, infrastructure, and telecommunications.”
Westacott outlines four goals she hopes the trip will help achieve:
Completing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement;
Establishing a CEO roundtable for business leaders to identify economic opportunities;
Welcoming higher levels of Indonesian investment in Australia, including in agriculture; and
Using the new Colombo Plan to boost Indonesian capability in Australia, and Australian capability in Indonesia.
“We welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to including business delegations on future overseas visits.
“Nothing could better reinforce the message that Australia is serious about boosting trade and investment,” she says.
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