I think what we want to see is real growth in investment relations, which is the Australian investment in Indonesia.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi is optimistic that trade between Indonesia and Australia would make progress again under the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership (IA-CEPA).

The minister noted that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the trade value in 2020 had recorded a drop of 8.8-percent, or equal to US$7.1 billion.

"There was an 8.8-percent drop. However, trade value between the two countries during the period from January to June 2021 had increased by 65 percent as compared to that during the corresponding period last year, which means it had increased significantly," the minister stated during a press conference with Australian Minister of Trade, Tourism, and Investment Dan Tehan here on Wednesday.

Minister Lutfi noted that the figures were good signs for both countries, which indicated that Indonesia-Australia trade will rebound.

"This is a good sign, and we want to do more to improve it and make history together," he affirmed.

Lutfi also acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic posed a major obstacle in intensifying trade between Indonesia and Australia, as the IA-CEPA negotiations were held.

However, Lutfi affirmed that Indonesia and Australia will be able to overcome the obstacles together and recover the trade after the two countries' borders reopen later.

Meanwhile, Minister Dan Tehan is also looking forward to immediately increasing economic cooperation to be more comprehensive, especially in the investment sector.

"I think what we want to see is real growth in investment relations, which is the Australian investment in Indonesia," Tehan remarked.

Tehan sees huge potential for investment in Indonesia's sectors, including education, renewable energy, minerals, and rare earth metals.

The minister also believes that Australia can contribute to the development of electric cars in Indonesia.

"We are very confident of being a supplier of some key materials that will help Indonesia develop electric vehicles, so those are some matters I think we need to work on," he added.

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Translator: Sella G, Kenzu T
Editor: Sri Haryati
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