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Emerson in Jakarta to strengthen trade ties

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Federal Trade Minister Craig Emerson is visiting Jakarta this week to conduct talks with his Indonesian counterpart Dr Mari Pangestu. "As the two largest economies in South-East Asia, there is considerable scope for Australia and Indonesia to strengthen and expand their economic relationship," Emerson said. In his first visit to the country as Trade Minister, Emerson is expected to prepare the ground for negotiations to begin on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), an idea launched by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in November last year. Discussions on Indonesia’s ratification of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, progress on the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations and the finalisation of a joint pilot project designed to help improve Indonesia’s cattle breeding performance are also on the agenda. Emerson highlighted the strength of the Indonesian economy, saying it could be in the top 10 globally by 2025. Currently, the tiger economy is one of Australia’s most important trading partners as the fourth-largest market for agricultural exports. In 2009-10, the value of two-way trade between Australia and Indonesia was $11.8 billion.

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