Queensland primary producers, resources companies, education providers and other businesses could enjoy improved export opportunities as a result of the new Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA).

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced the conclusion of substantive negotiations on the IA-CEPA on 31 August in Bogor, Indonesia.

The IA-CEPA is a free trade agreement designed to foster economic cooperation between Australia and Indonesia and expand and diversify bilateral economic partnerships.

Building on the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), it will provide better and more certain access to the Indonesian market for Australian exporters.

Under the new agreement, over 99% of Australian goods exports by value to Indonesia will enter duty-free or under significantly improved preferential arrangements by 2020 (compared with 85% under AANZFTA).

Indonesia will also guarantee automatic issue of import permits for key Australian products such as frozen beef, sheep meat, cattle, feed grains, rolled steel coil, citrus products, carrots and potatoes.

Queensland holds a significant share of Australia’s export market for all of these products, and import licences are currently a major barrier for many Australian exporters into Indonesia.

Changes to Indonesian investment laws will also make it easier for Australian educational institutions to partner with Indonesian business to provide skills training in Indonesia.

Queensland education and training providers are already active in this area, with a consortium led by TAFE Queensland playing a major role at an Indonesian training conference late last year.

Negotiations on the IA-CEPA began in 2010, and both Australia and Indonesia must now complete their own domestic treaty-making processes before the agreement can come into force, probably in 2020.

Queensland exported $1.2 billion worth of goods to Indonesia in 2017–18, a 17.3% increase on the previous year. Indonesian tourism, study and investment in Queensland are also increasing.

TIQ relocated and expanded its Jakarta office in May this year, supported by funding committed under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

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