Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia is continuing to improve trade with Australia, Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan said during the CEOs Joint Call to the President of the Republic of Indonesia 2023 at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday.

During the event, President Joko Widodo and company CEOs discussed ongoing and future cooperation in health, mining, infrastructure, environment, industry, professional services, and higher education sectors. The activity was part of the Annual Leaders’ Meeting 2023 agenda.

The Trade Ministry has continued to strive to optimize the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), he said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Indonesia expects that IA-CEPA will be optimized and cooperation between Indonesian and Australian entrepreneurs will be built through the CEO Forum, he added.

Several cooperations have been initiated through the implementation of IA-CEPA, including investment for building universities and hospitals as well as electric vehicle (EV) battery industry cooperation.

The education and health sectors have been opened since IA-CEPA was implemented and their potential has attracted the interest of Australian investors. This has also applied to the EV battery industry given the trend of transition to EVs.

Moreover, the implementation of IA-CEPA has produced a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on Engineers, which has led to the competence and qualification of Indonesian engineering education being recognized in Australia.

In the future, Indonesian engineers will be supported to work in Australian companies, such as those engaged in the mining sector which employ engineers on a large scale.

He said that he expects the high potential of investment via a number of international trade agreements such as IA-CEPA, AANZFTA, and RCEP to be explored and utilized by investors, entrepreneurs, and the broader public.

As President Joko Widodo said, Indonesia has a high potential as an investment destination. Indonesia has natural resources, a demographic bonus, a large market, as well as economic and political stability, Hasan noted.

According to the ministry's data, the total trade between Indonesia and Australia in January–April 2023 reached US$3.6 billion.

Indonesia's exports to Australia during the same period were recorded at US$999.4 million. Meanwhile, Indonesia's imports from Australia stood at US$2.65 billion.

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Translator: Maria C G P, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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