July 7, 2020, 09.53 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Take advantage of the Indonesia-Australia economic partnership deal to boost your competitiveness, Vice Trade Minister Jerry Sambuaga advised Indonesia's business community.

The two trade partners recently moved ahead with the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) on July 5.

Jerry reminded Indonesia’s business community that the IA-CEPA encompasses more than trade as it includes cooperation in the fields of economy, investment, healthcare, and business competition.

Read also: Indonesia and Australia Move Ahead with Beef and Livestock Trade

Moreover, there is further cooperation in the scope of transportation, capacity-building, trade services, and legal matters.

“The scope is wide and can be utilized by many key stakeholders in the country. As such, we have to make use of this opportunity as best as possible,” said Jerry in a written explanation on July 7.

Indonesia’s Vice Trade Minister said Australia is a key market for Indonesian products and services.

Australia is also an important partner for investments in Indonesia.

Read also: Indonesia's Sumatra Destroys 3.8 Tons of Contaminated, Undocumented Australian Beef

“Indonesia had a surplus of $1.7 billion in trade services in 2018. Therefore, we hope that our trade services can improve even more. With the IA-CEPA in place, we are optimistic that the flow of Indonesian products to Australia will be even greater with tariff reduction of all import duties to zero percent,” said Jerry.

It is an opportunity for businesses to boost their competitiveness, he added.

Read also: Australia’s Rp 61 Billion Plan to Aid Indonesia’s Coronavirus Pandemic Fight

“For example, there is a clause in the engineering sector that will accommodate cooperation on the capacity-building skills of Indonesian engineers. Indonesia has completed the Washington Accord Provisional Status in June 2019 and is targeting the completion of the Washington Accord Signatory Status by 2021. 

“The accreditation is necessary in order for Indonesian engineers to be recognized in Australia thus they can search for employment opportunities or projects there,” said the Vice Trade Minister.

The partnership with Australia also opens up opportunities for Indonesian caregivers, who have become sought-after in overseas markets.

Read also: Buy Local, Luhut Panjaitan Encourages Government Officials

“Once Indonesian caregivers are accredited, then it is hoped to improve their competitiveness level hence paving the way for more job opportunities in Australia’s healthcare sector,” said Jerry.

The Ministry of Trade has done its job as the IA-CEPA has been fulfilled despite a long journey, he added, noting the agreement was first negotiated back in 2010.

“If we include the pre-negotiation phase then it has been even longer. But the point is we are happy that the agreement is finished. We, the Ministry of Trade, present this comprehensive economic agreement for all Indonesians to make the best of it,” said Jerry. 

(Writer: Akhdi Martin Pratama | Editor: Sakina Rakhma Diah Setiawan) 

Source: https://money.kompas.com/read/2020/07/07/124300726/wamendag-minta-pengusaha-manfaatkan-ia-cepa-untuk-dongkrak-daya-saing

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