Business needs to drive Australia-Indonesia trade and investment with a personal touch - Minister


On the eve of Australia's international borders reopening, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Mr Dan Tehan, spoke to a members-only zoom meeting of the Australia Indonesia Business Council on the essential role of business in accelerating trade and investment partnerships with Indonesia following the activation of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

He emphasised the next two years will highlight Indonesia's pandemic recovery and economic growth with its chairing of the G20 in 2022 and next year when it chairs ASEAN, both significant roles in a region facing increasing geopolitical tensions. 

Recently Indonesia's new Ambassador to Australia, Mr Siswo Pramono, spoke of his country's interest in their businesses reaching further into Africa and the Pacific through their expanding relationships with Australia.

From a business perspective, the politically unmentionable 'elephant in the room' is the new 'ABC' imperative of Australia's forward export, inward investment and national security settings - 'Anyone But China' - and bilateral business chambers provide an efficient gateway for companies looking to diversify and balance their market strategies by including other growth economies such as Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

Minister Tehan urged Australian business to get back on the planes and reinvigorate personal contact with colleagues in Indonesia. We expect, as he is also tourism minister, he'd like to see early travel reciprocity. But it's a great point. Zoom and Teams are excellent communications tools -- particularly to arrange intimate meetings with national ministers -- but building long-term relationships between businesses, as with countries, is as much about personal contact and establishing trust as the quality and cost of products and services.

For more information on Australia-Indonesia trade, contact the Australia Indonesia Business Council at and the Indonesia Australia Business Council at

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