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Senior ministers visit Jakarta to strengthen trade ties

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Senior Australian Ministers travel to Jakarta to hold talks with their Indonesian counterparts with the aim to strengthen trade ties between the two countries. Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Senator Joe Ludwig left for Jakarta March 20 with a senior business delegation in tow.  Emerson and Ludwig see great potential for an expansion in the export relationship between Australia and Indonesia.  This positivity is unsurprising as Indonesia has a growing population and its economy is continually expanding, having seen a 6.5 percent growth in 2011. "The growing demand for Australian agricultural products in Indonesia presents a significant opportunity for our farmers," Minister Ludwig said. Given that Indonesia is Australia’s third-largest agricultural export market, the potential for a deepening of trade ties is hugely promising.  The relationship between the two countries has shown huge growth over the past few years, with Australian exports to Indonesia amounting $2.8 billion in 2010-11, up 52 percent from 2005-2006. Dr Emerson and Minister Ludwig will hold talks with Indonesian Ministers, focusing on how business and government can work together to develop the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA). Minister Ludwig will meet with his Indonesian counterparts to further cooperation between the countries on agriculture, fisheries and forestry.  They will discuss combating illegal logging, strengthening the trade relationship, the live export trade and marker access for horticulture imports and meat products, among other topics.  No word has been said on whether Indonesia’s proposed export restrictions will be a topic of discussion Dr Emerson will deliver a speech to the Foreign Correspondents Club in Jakarta, in which he will aim the highlight the huge potential of the IA-CEPA.

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