CANBERRA, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo will this week lead a delegation of business leaders to Jakarta for the 2017 Indonesia-Australia Business Week (IABW), with securing greater export opportunities for Australian businesses firmly on the agenda.
Steve Ciobo, Australian minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, has said as Australia's closest neighbor, Indonesia is a vital market for Australian exporters, especially considering that "tens of millions" of Indonesian households would soon be joining the burgeoning middle class.
"IAWB will help create more export opportunities for Australian businesses by focusing on industry sectors where Australian expertise is well matched to commercial potential in Indonesia," Ciobo said in a statement released Monday.
"The 120-strong Australian business delegation will participate in a program of 57 events across five cities including Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali and Lombok.
"The program will highlight opportunities in vocational education and training, tourism, financial services and technology, water and sustainable urban design and agribusiness supply chains."
"With a population of more than 255 million and an economy approaching 1 trillion U.S. dollars, there is enormous scope to expand our trade with Indonesia -- our 13th largest trading partner."
"Tens of millions of new Indonesian households are forecast to join the middle class over the next five years, presenting significant opportunities for Australian exporters to supply the growing needs of Indonesian consumers with Australian goods and services."
Ciobo said the trade mission would also provide an opportunity for the government to "progress" its "top trade priority", the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).
"Indonesian Trade Minister (Enggar) Lukita and I will meet again this week as we work to finalize negotiations by the end of the year," Ciobo said.
"Momentum is building for an ambitious IA-CEPA following the recent visit to Australia by President (Joko) Widodo."
"During the visit it was announced Indonesia would cut sugar tariffs for Australian exports -- a big win for our cane growers. This followed Indonesia's decision to expand live cattle import requirements that will allow Australia to export more live cattle -- another great early IA-CEPA outcome."
Ciobo's visit to Indonesia comes as Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also prepares to visit Jakarta to attend the 20th anniversary of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) summit, also this week.