Australia's New PM to Visit Indonesia to Strengthen Economic Ties
Indonesia will be the first country where Albanese will make a bilateral visit after his inauguration as the 31st Australian prime minister in May, director of East Asia and the Pacific at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Santo Darmosumarto, said during an online media briefing from Jakarta on Thursday.
"It has been a tradition for newly-installed Australian prime ministers to make Indonesia one of their first (overseas) visits. It seems that Prime Minister Albanese will continue the tradition," he said.
Albanese is scheduled to meet with President Joko Widodo on June 6. The two leaders are expected to discuss efforts to enhance economic cooperation, including the implementation of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) that needs to be scaled up since it was signed in 2020.
"Although trade between the two countries swelled by up to 70 percent in 2021, the implementation of many things is still far from expectation. Thus, the discussion will focus on the issue which happens to be the center of the two leaders' attention," Darmosumarto said.
Albanese's visit to Indonesia also reflects the significance of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership formed in 2018 to facilitate cooperation between the two nations in various fields, including defense, security, and democracy, he added.
Asked if Albanese will raise the issue of AUKUS, a trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, he said Indonesia will put more emphasis on economic issues during Albanese's visit to Indonesia.
"Indonesia sees that the dimension of cooperation with Australia, which previously focused on defense and security, has now covered other issues, including economic cooperation and people-to-people relations, which appear to dominate cooperation between the two countries," he said.
During his visit to Indonesia, Albanese will be accompanied by his new Cabinet ministers, including Foreign Minister Penny Wong.
Wong is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with her Indonesian counterpart, Retno L.P. Marsudi, a day before the annual leaders' meeting between the two countries takes place on June 6.
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