Monday, 11 September 2023
Questions without Notice
International Relations: Australia and South-East Asia
I thank the member for Lingiari for her question. Last week, we launched the report on our South-East Asia economic strategy to 2040 developed by Nicholas Moore, and I thank Mr Moore for it. We launched it in Jakarta. There were leading businesspeople, including the new head of the Business Council of Australia, there with us in Jakarta. It was appropriate to do that. ASEAN represents two-way trade that was worth over $178 billion last year, 15 per cent of Australia's trade, greater than our trade with either the US or Japan. In the report, we also announced three commitments that we have made: funding to deal with investment deal teams; a South-East Asia business exchange; and two-way placements and an internships program for businesses at both ends.
While in Indonesia, I also had a bilateral meeting with President Widodo, and I can inform the House—certainly the member for Lingiari has a great interest in this—that as a result of that and of the work of our officials, including in the agriculture department, Indonesia has lifted the restrictions which were there on live cattle exports, which will restart, following the decision of Malaysia. I thank my friend President Joko Widodo.
This is why you develop relationships: because it matters here. It matters to jobs. It matters to agriculture. It matters to industry as well.