JAKARTA – During his first bilateral visit to Indonesia, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese proclaimed a strengthened relationship, promising greater cooperation on trade, security, and climate change (Jun 6).
Before the formal meetings began, Albanese rode bamboo bicycles through the presidential residence in Bogor with his host, President Joko Widodo.
Australia’s new prime minister, along with Foreign Minister Penny Wong and Trade Minister Don Farrell, led a high-profile corporate delegation to Indonesia, emphasizing the necessity of interacting with Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
“Indonesia is on course to become one of the world’s five greatest economies,” Albanese said, adding that “revitalizing our trade and investment relationship is a priority for my government.”
He stated that the government will collaborate to realize the promise of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), as well as provide technical expertise for the development of Nusantara, Indonesia’s planned new green and high-tech capital.
Albanese reaffirmed a four-year A$470 million (US$338.49 million) pledge for overseas development in Indonesia and the region, as well as a A$200 million climate and infrastructure partnership with Indonesia and the establishment of a new Southeast Asia office in Australia’s department of foreign affairs.
“In keeping with my government’s ambitious climate ambitions, I want better access to affordable, reliable, and secure clean energy across our area as we work together to achieve a net zero world,” he added.
The trip comes as Australia’s new Labor administration, which ended almost a decade of conservative dominance in a May 21 election, suggests a stronger emphasis on Southeast Asian relations and climate change, an issue critical to its Pacific neighbors, as it navigates relations with a more aggressive China.