Australia, Indonesia move on trade deal

Source:AFP Published: 2020/2/10 18:23:40

Australia's Governor General David Hurley (right) and Indonesian President Joko Widodo (center) stand during a welcome ceremony at the Government House in Canberra on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Australia and Indonesia announced a 100-day plan on Monday to implement a long-awaited trade deal, as the two countries hailed a "new beginning" for their sometimes troubled relationship.

The two counties hope to deepen trade currently worth a modest $12 billion a year.

Addressing Australia's parliament on a state visit, President Joko Widodo cast the two nations as would-be "Avengers" - "forces of good" uniting to defeat a "­common enemy" and shared challenges like protectionism, intolerance and climate change.

Widodo said his visit to Australia marked "a new beginning of a new relationship" between the two nations.

The 58-year-old former furniture manufacturer was sworn in for a second term late last year, promising to reduce widespread poverty as Indonesia becomes one of the world's largest economies.

Negotiations over the Australia­-Indonesia trade deal ­began in 2010 and it was ratified by Indonesia's parliament last week.

The agreement will eventually see the elimination of all Australian trade tariffs, while 94 percent of Indonesian duties will be gradually ­eliminated.


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