Local and international newswires are reporting on President Jokowi’s three-day state visit visit to Australia, where, according to VoA, defense and renewable energy are high on the agenda. Before the trip, the president told Australian media that the two countries “have a great potential for integration.”
Indonesia has ambitions to become a global hub for the manufacture of electric batteries and vehicles, or EVs and is the world’s biggest producer of nickel, a key component for EV batteries, but it lacks Australia’s reserves of lithium, another critical ingredient.
In a press release from The President of The Republic of Indonesia website, President Jokowi was received by the Governor General of Australia, David Hurley, at the Admiralty House, Sydney, on Tuesday morning, 4 July 2024 and later met with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
The Indonesian president urged Prime Minister Albanese to co-operate in the production of EV batteries during the G20 Summit in Bali last November, say VoA.
In a statement, Albanese said “as one of our closest neighbours, Australia is building extensive cooperation with Indonesia on climate, economic development, education and regional security issues.”
In 2021-22, total two-way trade in goods and services between Australia and Indonesia was worth USD 12.1-billion, making Indonesia Australia’s 14th largest trading partner, according to VoA.
Andrew Hudson, from the Centre for Policy Development – a research organization – told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. there is great trading potential.
“Indonesia’s economy is forecast to become the fourth largest in the world and larger than Germany or (the) UK in just seven years and, yet, Indonesia remains outside Australia’s top ten trading partners. It is obviously our largest neighbour, so I think there is a huge opportunity there.”
Albanese is expected to urge for progress on an upgraded defence deal with Indonesia, although analysts have said that Australia’s commitment to the new AUKUS alliance with the United States and Britain has provoked some uncertainty and hesitancy in Jakarta.
Accompanying the President were Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, Minister for State Secretary Pratikno, Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Minister for Trade Zulkifli Hasan, Minister for Investment/Head of BKPM Bahlil Lahadalia, and Indonesian Ambassador for Australia Siswo Pramono.
Source: The President of The Republic of Indonesia website, VoA
Photo: BPMI Presidential Secretariat