Australia Partnering with Asia

Australia Trade Minister Steve Ciobo is in Jakarta again for talks about the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), which the countries hope to have finalized by the end of the year.

As Mr. Ciobo said, “What today’s GDP figures show is that we can’t be complacent about growth, we have got to maintain vigilance, not only with respect to our domestic reform process but also with respect to opening up opportunities for Australian exports.”

He continued, “I believe that the Asian region in general appreciates that trade and engagement with the world is crucial to higher living standards in the future and that is a point of contrast to other parts of the world where they have adopted a more protectionist approach.”

Mr. Ciobo explained that he wanted to reduce the tariff barrier for Australian sugar. As he said,

“Australian sugar exporters currently face a higher tariff barrier then other sugar exporters throughout the region. I want to make sure that, if we possibly can, we can reduce that tariff barrier.”

According to the article, Australia is also negotiating about the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). This is a trade deal which would be with the Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) and also with China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand.