Thursday, November 26, 2015

Indonesia's visa challenge: a reality check for some 10,000 Australians living in Bali

By Amanda Davies

MORE THAN 10,000 Australians are estimated to live in Bali all year, or for a substantial part of it. While many consider themselves to be permanent residents, they in fact have very little legal basis for this claim.

The Indonesian government provides Australian nationals with a number of visa options to support their “visit” to Bali. These include:

  • Tourist visa – valid for 30 days (or 60 days if arranged in selected countries within Asia);
  • Business visa – valid for 60 days (or 12 months for a multiple-entry business visa);
  • Employment visa – valid for one year and must be sponsored by an Indonesian-based company;
  • Social-cultural visa – valid for 60 days and can be extended monthly to a maximum of six months. Visas must be sponsored by an Indonesian citizen;
  • Family/dependent visa; and
  • Retirement visa – valid for one year and can be extended each year for up to five years.

Beyond these visa options, there is little scope for Australian nationals to achieve permanent resident status. While there is a permanent residence permit, it is available only for a five-year period.

Australian expats have adopted a range of strategies for securing and renewing their short-term visas in order to live year-round in Bali. One significantly popular approach sees expats leave Bali for a short period – often a few days – before applying for a new visa upon re-entry. Longer-term members of the expat community have reportedly used this strategy for many years.

However, a recent decision by the Indonesian Immigration Office looked set to present challenges to the widely practised visa renewal method. Initially, it looked like it may prevent many Australians from living “permanently” in Bali. It is unclear if the directive has been enforced, or whether it may have been revoked.

Under the initial directive, from October 20 until December 30, 2015, visitors to Indonesia – entering through Denpasar International Airport – will be denied entry if they had previously entered the country twice in less than one year and been issued a visa on arrival.

The directive indicates that the action is in response to complaints from tourism organisations. The complaints primarily focus on the increasing number of expats working illegally in tourism businesses in Bali.

A translation of the directive specifically identifies that tourism organisations are concerned that expats have been working illegally as waiters, tour guides and scuba instructors, and also providing concierge services for tours and businesses.

This measure is targeted at curbing the number of foreigners working illegally in Bali. But Australians who “permanently” live in Bali could also be facing an unwanted reality check regarding their rights to enter – and even remain in – Bali.

Permanent residents or temporary visitors?

Indonesia’s shifting approach on immigration will force Australian expats who renew their visas through frequent travel to revisit their plans.

A recent survey of Australians living in Bali revealed that, from a sample of 185 people, 68% renewed their visas by regularly travelling out of Bali. Those who did not travel out of Bali typically held retirement or business visas, renewing them through a local agent.

The survey asked Australian expatriates why they had moved to, and how they felt about living in, Bali. People fundamentally made a conscious decision to move to Bali to achieve a lifestyle they felt would not be available to them in Australia.

The distinct characteristics of Bali’s natural and cultural environment were the major factors drawing people to it. The lower living and housing costs were also important in influencing decisions to move.
Importantly, participants in the study identified Bali as their primary home, where their social networks and activities were based and, in some cases, where they achieved their main income. Irrespective of the type of visa they held, many had invested in property and become engaged in community activities.

The population of Australians living in Bali continues to grow. However, the directive from the Indonesian Immigration Office serves as a reminder of the reality of their situation. Australian expats are not “permanent” residents of Indonesia.

While they might consider Bali to be their home, they are only temporary visitors.

The Conversation
Amanda Davies is Senior Lecturer in Geography and Social Demography at Curtin UniversityThis article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tapping into the new ASEAN single market: Opportunities for Australian businesses in Southeast Asia's AEC

Mr Simon Merrifield, Australia's first Jakarta-resident Ambassador to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), has trekked thousand of kilometres over recent months explaining the importance of the imminent new regional single market known as the ASEAN Economic Community, to Australian businesses.

The formal start of the AEC on 1 January 2016 will combine 10 national economies including Indonesia. It will represent some 625 million people, a growing GDP close to US$2.6 trillion and eight percent of global FDI.  Last year Australia’s bilateral trade with ASEAN surpassed A$100 billion and its collective economies accounted for 15% of Australia’s trade, more than the second largest bilateral trading partner Japan.

The Ambassador's AEC-awareness program has recently taken him to Canberra and Australian state capital cities and various bilateral business forums including this week's Indonesia Australia Business Council conference in Yogyakarta and the Indonesia Australia Business Week in Jakarta.

Ambassador Merrifield on the
ASEAN panel at IABW,
Jakarta, 19 Nov 2015
At the conclusion of his IABW presentation, we asked him how Australian businesses have been reacting to the ASEAN economic integration story:

"There's a lot of interest, and a growing awareness," he told us. "It’s an iterative transition so it takes some time to absorb what it all means.

"We are very fortunate to have several very successful and identifiably Australian brands with very clear regional strategies.  We've heard today from ANZ about how they see the broader region, how they see the importance of integration, and about their strategy for it.

"Others have also grasped the integration trend and the implications that has for their positioning.  These businesses are squarely focused on investing time and effort to acquire in-market knowledge, expertise and relationships.  They are not there for quick wins but for long-term gains and market share.

"They appreciate that the ASEAN integration trend will spur growth and create opportunities for a wide range of business endeavours. Changes in the way the regional economy operates are unfolding in many different ways, dramatically in the case of, say, regional value chains, through to more nuanced and iterative changes in the enabling environment.

"Taken together and looked at over time, the changes will be dramatic and will be very good news for those who have moved at the right time.

"So there is clearly a growing appreciation of the opportunities, and an emerging sense of what’s required to prepare for them.”

Mr Merrifield kindly provided his most recent presentation for reproduction in the Indonesia Australia Review. It has been edited for publication:

What ASEAN Means for Australia 

Simon Merrifield
Australian Ambassador to ASEAN

ON SUNDAY, 22 November 2019, leaders of the ten countries which make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will launch the ASEAN Community, which will include the ASEAN Economic Community or AEC.
Mr Simon Merrifield

This will be a key milestone in a long transition from a loose intergovernmental arrangement to something more integrated.

ASEAN has always been an important institution for Australia Governments. Well before it was fashionable, and well before ASEAN became a byword for Southeast Asia’s economic dynamism, Australia became ASEAN’s first dialogue partner in 1974.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), set out their insights for business people in our publication Why ASEAN and Why Now - if you haven’t yet seen it, I commend it to you.

SINCE FORMING IN 1967, ASEAN has been a constant in Southeast Asia’s transition from a poor and turbulent region to one of prosperity and optimism.  

Southeast Asia’s economic achievement has had many drivers but key among them is ASEAN’s success as an organisation.

It’s been key to building the trust and habits of cooperation that have underwritten Southeast Asia’s stability and growth.  And that stability and growth has produced a great set of numbers:

  • A $2.57 trillion economy, with growth rates almost doubling per capita GDP in just seven years.   
  • A population of 625 million with 65% under 35, and
  • 8% of global FDI.  

Australia has worked closely with ASEAN over the decades of its remarkable journey.  Not just with its member states but with ASEAN as an institution.  We now have a strategic partnership and collaborate on major ASEAN-led arrangements, such in the premier leaders’ forum – the East Asia Summit, in the regional security and defence ministers’ fora,  and of course on the trade and economic agenda including negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) .

We are ASEAN’s most comprehensive FTA partner.  We work together on regional economic integration, as we do in helping to address some of the downsides of integration, like human trafficking.

And we share robust trade ties, which now exceed $100 billion per year.  As an aggregated economy ASEAN is our number two trading partner.

So with those equities, we take very seriously the impending declaration of the AEC. This is a signature year for ASEAN and an important time for all of ASEAN’s key partners.

It is not always well understood what ASEAN intends the AEC to be. So it’s important to clarify that.

ASEAN has in mind an enhanced economic partnership among its members, and a partnership that looks outwards to the world.  It aspires to a single market and production base, achieved over time through the elimination of barriers to the flow of goods, services, investment and skilled labour.

It does not aspire to be a version of the EU.  It is not interested in EU-style strong central institutions.  It doesn’t want a common currency, or a customs union, or a single immigration zone.

Without dominant central institutions, implementation and compliance will sit with member states. They will proceed at different speeds reflecting their different stages of development, and it’s likely the AEC will work more seamlessly in some parts of Southeast Asia than others.

The transition will play out over an extended time-frame.  2015 is not an end point but a milestone - on a long journey that has already been underway for years.  There will be no sudden switchover to new arrangements.  But measured in five year chunks, progress will be impressive.

As it has been:  ASEAN integration has been occurring since the end of the Cold War.  Agreements in the 1990s put regional integration at the centre of ASEAN’s economic agenda where it has been ever since. That’s why tariffs have all but gone.

The World Bank says ASEAN’s integration project has gone well:  it has been trade creating rather than trade diverting; trade has become more efficient; it has helped attract FDI; and it has stimulated development in the less well-off member states.

Source: AEC-Hand Book for Business

SO ASEAN HAS BEEN a framework for liberalisation and reform, for advancing integration, for opening up borders and for enabling value chains. And it’s a pathway to help narrow the wealth gap between ASEAN’s richer and poorer members.  

It has also afforded its Member States the collective weight to develop their economic engagement with the world beyond – we have seen that through the creation of valuable FTAs such as the ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) and we are seeing it on a significantly greater scale through the negotiation of the RCEP.

This iterative integration is obviously important for the region’s continuing prosperity, but it is also strategically valuable because a more interdependent region raises the equities of all involved – the more we all have at stake, the more we all care about it not coming unstuck.
So the AEC is a fundamental part of what ASEAN has done and continues to do in the region.

ASEAN hasn’t just got lucky, as neutral turf at a time of intensifying geopolitical dynamics.  Rather, its track record of fostering trust has helped generate the all-important buy-in of external players to what it calls “ASEAN centrality’ – where ASEAN takes the role of ringmaster in regional organisations.

This is increasingly important as the global rearrangement of economic and strategic weight works its way through our region.

ASEAN’s export success has increasingly been built on a network of Regional Value Chains within and between countries in different ASEAN markets. Businesses in ASEAN have been developing strong trade and investment connectivity well before governments sought to enable it.  

These RVCs have been a key contributor to the ASEAN connectivity agenda – they both drive economic integration and benefit from it.  The value chain connections in ASEAN are quite varied.  There are the obvious examples of manufacturers and component suppliers, but RVCs in ASEAN also tend to encompass a much wider group of relationships, such as R&D, logistics, administrative functions and marketing.  

Why ASEAN Why Now goes into more detail on RVCs and why Australian businesses should find ways to tap into them.

SMART BUSINESSES with an eye on this region have been reading the implications of the integration trend and thinking about how to develop regional strategies to their best advantage. If Australian businesses are to realise the most attractive opportunities, they will need an in-country presence in ASEAN markets and an appreciation of the unfolding changes.

As Australians, are we making enough of this?  It’s great that ASEAN is our second largest trading partner, and it’s great that investment levels in both directions are rising, but there is significant room for growth.  We are not a top-ten investor in ASEAN but in 2013 rankings Belgium and the Netherlands were.  Our competitors are certainly recognising the opportunities.

With some notable exceptions, Australian business engagement has been thinner than seems right for a region of such dynamism, such international focus, such proximity to our shores and so many ready pathways to greater engagement, including deep migration and educational links.

From a government perspective, we have been hard at work on our longstanding relationship with ASEAN, which has never been stronger or more important to us.  This includes the work we have done to improve the trading environment, using both aid-for-trade programs and through negotiating FTAs.

This includes our FTAs with individual ASEAN members and with ASEAN as a whole.  Indeed, AANZFTA is ASEAN’s most comprehensive FTA, and it’s been put to me by ASEAN trade officials that landing AANZFTA underpinned the ambition and confidence to pursue the RCEP vision.

In winding up, let me that the emergence of ASEAN as a leading economic player is good news for Australia. And that the AEC can only make this better.  To be sure, it’s a long game, with gradual changes, in an environment which rewards those who can adjust their thinking towards five-year horizons.  But ASEAN’s diverse markets, urbanised population, growing services sector and dynamic growth trajectory make a compelling case.

There is a strong fit between the region’s primary growth drivers and Australia’s capability to meet them.

I’d encourage you to take a closer look at what is on offer in the region and think deeply about whether an ASEAN strategy might work as you plan your businesses’ future growth.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Maximising joint Australia-Indonesia opportunities to create competitive advantages & selling into third markets

A NEW REPORT LAUNCHED by Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, encourages Australia and Indonesia to work together to gain greater access to value chains for their goods and services, particularly within the new ASEAN single market (AEC), at a time when a three trillion-dollar global opportunity is opening up.

Prepared by the ANZ Bank and PricewaterhouseCoppers, the Succeeding Together report examines ways to do this by utilising shared comparative advantages and highlights sectors in which industry and government can work together. It can be accessed here.

Published November 2015
“The approach complements the Australian Government’s commitment to building closer trade and investment ties through trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea, and other broader trade initiatives including the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, the continuing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Trans Pacific Partnership. In time, the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will play an important role in encouraging investment and aiding our competitive entry to global supply chains,” Mr Robb says in his foreword.

He has since announced that Indonesia has agreed to return to negotiations on the IA-CEPA and the Australian government seeks to prioritise its completion within 12-months.

According to Glenn Maguire, ANZ Chief Economist, South Asia, ASEAN and Pacific, Australia and Indonesia “clearly have the potential to face the Asian Century together, with an economically stronger, mutual relationship arising from their joint competitive advantage. With potential trade flows of $3-4 trillion just for ASEAN trade with China, it is vital that Australia and Indonesia work together to realise their joint competitive advantages, to capture as large a slice of this prize as possible. This will benefit both countries.”

One of the report’s authors, PwC Partner Jeremy Thorpe, says Australia and Indonesia need to act for three reasons.

“First, global supply chains are a fundamental dynamic of international trade and neither country can afford to operate exclusively outside these.

“Second, Asia is the dominant global economic hub, the axis of which is moving south east. Opportunities surround Indonesia and Australia now, but these will be captured by other countries if there is no action.

“Third, while both countries seek to consolidate and strengthen domestic economic security to varying degrees, both are also acutely aware of the opportunities presented by an emerging generation of entrepreneurs keen to capture global returns.”

The shared platform - the Asian convergence

The Succeeding Together report focuses on four sectors - food processing, logistics, animal products and textiles/apparel - in which Australian or Indonesian comparative advantages create high potential to develop competitive advantages.

The identification of opportunities in each sector is underpinned by analysis of the Australian and Indonesian economies, current and future comparative advantages, pan-Asia shifts in capital flows, and the dynamically changing trade opportunities in Asia.

The report argues that businesses in both economies should re-orient their thinking to "facilitate mutually advantageous trade and investment opportunities" that need to emanate from a successfully concluded IA-CEPA: "This is especially important given that shifts in relative comparative advantages between the two economies indicate that Australian and Indonesian firms are increasingly partners, not competitors, in any regional trade. In this environment businesses should be seeking to cooperate along the value chain to identify cross-border value chains that allow participants in their country to focus on their comparative strengths within the value chain."

It also acknowledges that "in addition to the large established companies of both countries, Australia’s small–medium-sized businesses play a pivotal role in the Australian economy and that the expansion of small-medium-sized businesses in Indonesia will be critical to the overall growth of its economy. In fact, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are an integral part of both Indonesian and Australian economies."

Former Indonesian Minister of Trade, and of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Pangestu, in addressing the question “Why competitive advantage now?”, writes in the report: “Indonesia and Australia will have to diversify their sources of competitive advantage away from resources and find new sources of competitive advantage. Each country could do this on their own or together.

Former Indonesian Minister
Mari Pangestu
“Given complementarities and proximity between Indonesia and Australia, and strategic bilateral relations as well as through ASEAN, serious consideration should be given to the possibilities for joint development of competitive advantage to face the challenges ahead as well as to take advantage of the opportunities opening up. The recommendations of the Report could not come at a more timely moment.”

The Succeeding Together report includes analysis by ANZ and PwC, contributions from market specialists of both countries, and case-study interviews. Views were sought from more than 60 leaders in government, business and academia in both nations.

The report is published by the Melbourne-based Australia-Indonesia Centre which was established by the Australian Government in late 2013 to facilitate research-driven innovation and build stronger relationships between Australia and Indonesia.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

John Gorton, second Australian Prime Minister to visit Indonesia: cooperation with the New Order, assistance, investment (& benefits of language skills)

On 13 June 1968, the second Australian Prime Minister to visit Indonesia, Mr John Gorton, accompanied by Mrs Bettina Gorton, was welcomed on arrival in  Jakarta by President Suharto and Ibu Siti Hartinah. Mrs Gorton replied on behalf of her husband ... in Bahasa Indonesia. She was fluent in both Indonesian and Javanese languages, had lived in Indonesia during 1966 and had spoken to Indonesian audiences on Radio Australia.

Arrival ceremony in Jakarta on 13 June 1968. Left: Prime Minister John Gorton
with President Suharto. Right: Mrs Bettina Gorton speaking in Bahasa Indonesia
President Suharto noted at dinner that night: "It is indeed an honour, it is even very moving for the Indonesian people that this time outside the Malay race we have a State guest who is well versed in our language and who has a thorough knowledge of the Indonesian culture. I feel that Mrs Gorton's fluency and her knowledge of the Indonesian language are a manifestation of the friendly feelings and the understanding of the Australian people about the Indonesian people ..."

Mrs Gorton, an American, had been a language student at the Sorbonne in Paris while her brother. Arthur Brown, was at Oxford. In the summer of 1934, Arthur brought his class mate John Gorton to share a holiday cottage in Spain ... where he met Bettina. They married the next year in England, after which they moved to his family’s farm in near Kerang, Victoria, Australia. Bettina supported her husband in his political career after he entered parliament in 1950 as a Senator for Victoria.
Bettina Gorton with her Indonesian
language teacher Mrs Johns, 1968 (NAA)

In 1960, on an official visit to Sarawak, she became interested in Asian languages and culture. She took lessons in the Indonesian language, visited Indonesia for six weeks in 1966 and, after graduating with honours in Oriental Studies at the Australian National University, worked on the English-Malay dictionary from 1967-1977. In January 1968, two days after her husband was elected by his Liberal Party to replace the deceased Harold Holt as Prime Minister, she made her first radio broadcast to Indonesia, in Indonesian.

In 1997, speaking on John Gorton’s political legacy, former Labor PM Gough Whitlam acknowledged that Mrs Gorton had used her Indonesian language skills to make a lasting and valuable contribution to "Australia's relations with our great neighbour."

Priorities of the 1968 mission

The purpose of John Gorton’s 1968 prime ministerial mission was to consult with Indonesia’s New Order government on its economic stabilisation and development priorities - Gorton had doubled non-military aid - and to support the recently formed Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The delegation had already visited South Vietnam and Australian troops there and would continue to Singapore and Malaysia, particularly to discuss the security vacuum caused by the British military pull-out scheduled for 1971.

Previous visit to Batavia

Mr Gorton first visited Jakarta, then known as Batavia, for nearly three weeks in 1942 while a fighter pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force.

Operating from RAF bases in Malaya, he saw action against the Japanese in the South China Sea and, after one engagement, crash landed his Hawker Hurricane on Bintan island.

Injured, he was rescued by members of the Royal Dutch East Indies Army who assisted him to Singapore, three days after the island had been invaded.

He was then put on the MV Derrymore, an ammunition ship bound for Batavia, but it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine and abandoned.

Gorton (arrowed) taken on board
HMAS Ballarat (Spitfire Assn)
He and 214 other survivors then spent almost a day on crowded life rafts until spotted and picked up by HMAS Ballarat and taken to Batavia on 13 February 1942.

Two friends, who had also been evacuated from Singapore, heard that Gorton was in hospital and arranged for him to be put on a ship for Fremantle. It left on 23 February, just five days before the Japanese invaded Java Island.

Mr Gorton did not mention this prior visit in his official speeches in Jakarta.

The Australia Indonesia relationship

In his arrival statement on 13 June 1968, Mr Gorton noted that “although the association between our two countries is short when measured in terms of history, dating only from your independence it has been an association which has laid a foundation of friendship and co-operation” and highlighted, as examples of recent practical cooperation:
“Your students have attended our universities and technical institutions and Australians have worked alongside Indonesians on projects ranging from road building in East Nusa Tenggara to the installation of an aerial communications network spanning the vast area of the Archipelago of the Republic.”
At the official banquet that evening hosted by President Suharto, Mr Gordon recalled the diplomatic assistance that Australia had provided to Indonesia’s independence struggle as evidence that its interest was not new found:
“Australians are proud to have extended the hand of friendship to Indonesians in the earlier days of the struggle for independence. We are even prouder, Sir, that you accepted that friendship and paid us the honour of nominating us as your representative at the United Nations negotiations at that time. It was in those days that a firm basis was laid for an enduring and neighbourly relationship.”
He then mentioned, generally, the 1963–66 ‘Konfrontasi’ period during which Australia supported newly independent Malaysia against aggression from Indonesia:
“Those early days of close co-operation were followed in due course by events that were less happy. But through all these times of differences and confrontation Australia’s interest in Indonesia did not slacken.
"For example, during all that time our aid programme continued and your students remained at their studies at our universities. It was also possible at that time to reach agreement on the marking of our common border in Irian. In all our dealings during those, difficult times we sought to indicate that we were fully conscious of the need to preserve as wide an area of co-operation as possible and continue to work towards a confident and productive relationship.”
He also spoke of the interaction between the Australian and Indonesian governments since the Indonesian army had consolidated its power in 1967. President Soekarno had been forced to resign on 22 February 1967 and Suharto had been appointed acting president. On 27 March 1968, Suharto was elected by the MPRS for his first five-year term as President:
“It is a matter of the highest satisfaction to me and to all Australians that relations have now been fully restored and indeed, as I think, lifted to new levels. The Australian Minister for External Affairs, Mr Hasluck, has visited Indonesia three times in the last sixteen months. Your Foreign Minister has just concluded a visit to Australia. There have been numerous visits by other Ministers between our two countries in the last two years. At the Parliamentary level we had a Parliamentary Delegation here last year and your Parliamentary Delegation has just returned from Australia. Large numbers of individual members of the Australian Parliament from both sides of the House have come here on visits both official and private. Our Air Force Commanders have exchanged visits. We have Army officers training in each other's country. Units of the Australian Navy have been most courteously received in recent visits in Indonesia.”
Prime Minister Gorton with Indonesian officials at an Army parade ground, 1968 (NAA)

The following evening Mr Gorton hosted a dinner for President Suharto and leading Indonesian dignitaries. In his speech, he spoke of future investment and mentioned “the first main conference in Indonesia of private firms and private individuals” which took place in Jakarta in August 1967 and “had, as its origin in Australia, a large number of Australia's leading businessmen and industrialists.”

He also encouraged the signing of a cultural agreement to "give added impetus to an interest already evident but not as evident as it should be in Australia to the studying of Indonesian language ... "

The full text of his 14 June 1968 speech follows (at read more):

Monday, November 09, 2015

Indonesian television and internet start broadcasting Window On Australia series

COINCIDING WITH the first official visit to Indonesia of new Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and a major Australian trade and investment delegation to the Australia Indonesia Business Week in Jakarta lead by Trade Minister Andrew Robb, a month-long television and on-line celebration of Australian stories and culture commences in Indonesia today with the launch of Window on Australia.

A collaboration between the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s International Division, Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) and Indonesia’s leading online news site,, Window on Australia allows Indonesians to engage with and learn about Australia from a range of perspectives including agriculture, trade, education, Indigenous Australian culture, art and more.

Australian content will be aired daily across five TV channels, made possible by ABC International’s partnership with MNC, Indonesia’s largest media company. Australian news and stories will be featured in daily segments on MNC's news bulletins and in special features during the month.

Audiences can go online to explore Window on Australia articles, videos and conversations via, and via, produced by ABC International.

Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson, launches the 2015 Window On Australia series in Jakarta. The initiative runs from 9 November to 8 December

CEO of ABC International, Ms Lynley Marshall said: “Our Window on Australia event with Indonesia’s largest media companies will enhance knowledge and understanding between Australia and our nearest neighbour.

"With initiatives such as Window on Australia and our valued media partnerships, the Australia Plus platform is providing unique opportunities for Australian businesses to engage with South East Asia’s biggest and most dynamic country.”

President of MNC Group, Hary Tanoe said: “The objectives of our cooperation with ABC International is to educate and inspire our audience through Australian stories where our reporter experienced all aspects of Australian life first-hand, including business, arts, fashion, cuisine, transportation, education and agriculture.

“For the second year of Window on Australia, we have emphasised agriculture stories as we want to learn and improve sustainable agriculture and promote our national strategies in achieving food security.

“MNC is also proud to announce that one of our main programs was broadcast on ABC3 Australia as part of the reciprocal agreement with ABC. This demonstrates how the cooperation brings mutual benefit where our content also can be watched by audiences in Australia. Thus our media group plays a significant role in representing Indonesia in the Asia Pacific region, particularly in Australia.”

Editor in Chief of, Arifin Asydhad said: “Despite up and down Australia Indonesia relations, the syndication content from the ABC’s Australia Plus provides insight into daily life in Australia. The positive and inspiring stories of Australia Plus Indonesia is in line with our mission in providing our latest innovation, D New Generation, with positive, inspiring and deliver solutions particularly in strengthening Australia Indonesia relations.”

The 2015 initiative will run from Monday 9 November until Tuesday 8 December.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Indonesian artists and Australian Aboriginal children collaborate in Reconnecting Our Connection concert

Sydney-based Suara Indonesia Dance travelled to East Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory, to collaborate in cultural workshops with the Yirrkala community, Laynhapuy homeland and Nhulunbuy Township areas.

The highlight of the program, lasting from 26 October- 7 November 2015, was the "Reconnecting Our Connection" concert in which local students and artists performed Indonesian ethnic dances at the Roy Dadaynga Marika Stage of the Yirrkala Art Centre.

Visit the Twitter account of Indonesia's Consul to the Northern Territory, Andre Omer Siregar, for fascinating videos of the indigenous welcome to visitors dance, commentary on the Aboriginal trade and family links with the people of Makassar in Indonesia, and childrens' performances at both the Roy Dadaynga Marika Stage and the Nhulunbuy Christian College.

In the following video, Indonesian artists and Australian school children have fun connecting in cross-border song and dance.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Major Indonesia - Australia business, trade and investment events in November 2015

Three important events offer to connect Australian and Indonesian businesses during November 2015. Please note deadlines:


13 November (Canberra): High-level Business Summit hosted by the Embassy of Indonesia - bringing together Indonesian and Australian leaders including the Indonesian Minister for Maritime and Fisheries, the Chairman of the Indonesian Investment Coordination Board and the Head of the Creative Economy Agency.

Contact: Ms. Leni Sumartanti on +61 2 6250 8647. Email to


15-17 November (Yogyakarta): Indonesia Australia Business Conference - "Business as usual?" - hosted by the IABC. Speakers include leading corporates and advisors from both countries as well as Australia's Trade Minister, Indonesia's Economic Coordinating Minister, and the Sultan of Yogyakarta.

Details at


17-20 November (Jakarta): Indonesia Australia Business Week - hosted by Austrade. Australia's Trade Minister is leading a delegation of over 200 Australian companies to participate in eight investment and trade conference and networking streams: (1) Advanced manufacturing/automotive, (2) Agriculture and Aquaculture, (3) Education, (4) Healthcare, (5) Infrastructure, (6) Premium Food, (7) Resources & Energy and (8) Tourism.

Participation is free-of-charge BUT the deadline for most streams is 23 October.

Check details and application process at