It has taken nearly a decade, but most Australian states have indicated that they will reopen trade and investment offices in Indonesia. Only Western Australia has had continuous representation in Indonesia over the past 20 years.
However, the establishment of the new services may be delayed until the Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs finds a regulation specifically covering foreign sub-national government missions in the country.
The Victorian government announced last May that it had approved a new office in Jakarta and a number of trade missions have already been mobilised through the state’s ASEAN regional office in Kuala Lumpur using the marketing services of Phillip Morey’s Morelink International. An office and facilities scoping study was completed earlier this year. A ‘mega’ Victorian trade mission, focusing on IT, is scheduled to visit Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia in June.
Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory have publicly discussed new Indonesian offices but few details have merged. The NT also has plans to establish “an Australia-Indonesia Forum at Charles Darwin University, where senior figures from the two countries could share ideas.”
Western Australia has planned to advertise to find a replacement for the recently retired state trade commissioner in Indonesia, Martin Newbery but this may also be postponed until the Indonesian government clarifies its position. Currently WA is represented by Kellie-Jane Pritchard in an acting capacity. She was previously Manager, AGWEST International.