JAKARTA —  Australia`s Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, arrived in Indonesia on Monday for a visit to Indonesia that will focus on enhancing bilateral agricultural cooperation, investment and trade opportunities.
Minister Joyce said Australia shared a strong bilateral relationship in the field of agriculture with Indonesia that has benefited both nations. “Indonesia and Australia have a long history of working in cooperation on agricultural issues and capacity building projects, for example, through the Australia-Indonesia Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector.”
“The total value of our two-way trade with Indonesia was Au$15.7 billion in 2014, of which the bilateral agricultural trade accounted for about Au$3.5 billion,” Minister Joyce said.
He said agriculture is an important part of the two countries` trading relationship, and makes a significant contribution to economies and farmers` livelihoods in both the countries. Agriculture is also a major part of Australia`s development cooperation programs with Indonesia.
Minister Joyce will be in Indonesia for three days and will meet with her Indonesian ministerial counterparts and have several round-table discussions with industry leaders from both countries.
As one of Australia`s most significant regional partners, a long-term, stable trading environment and regular, consistent and open communication with Indonesia remains a high priority, both for me personally and for the Australian Government,” Minister Joyce said.
Last week, the minister welcomed the Indonesian government`s announcement to increase import permits for Australian cattle to 200,000 heads for the fourth quarter of 2015.
“Australia`s live export trade with Indonesia is a valuable partnership between Australian producers and exporters, and Indonesian importers, feedlots and abattoirs, with both sides profiting from their participation in the supply chain. This partnership can also provide Indonesian consumers with reliable access to quality, affordable meat, where there is a stable and consistent trade framework,” he said.
The Australian government is committed to supporting and advocating our agricultural industries, while maintaining a respectful and mutually beneficial bilateral relationship with Indonesia.
“We will continue to work cooperatively with Indonesia to promote a stable and secure trading and investment environment, to ensure greater certainty for both Australian producers and Indonesian importers in making business planning decisions,” she said.
He added, “We hope to work together to implement longer term planning and certainty, such as moving towards annual import permit numbers for live cattle.”
Minister Joyce said Australia took seriously its contribution to Indonesia`s food security, with key agricultural exports including wheat, live cattle, beef, sugar, dairy and horticulture. The Coalition Government was committed to being a safe and reliable supplier of these products to Indonesia.
Indonesia was our fourth largest agricultural export market in 2014, with Australian agricultural exports to Indonesia valued at Au$3.3 billion or 8 per cent of total Australian agricultural export value.
“Our agricultural imports from Indonesia rose by 30 per cent from Au$168 million in 2011 to Au$218 million in 2014, with more Australian consumers enjoying Indonesian products such as pasta, noodles and cocoa products. Indonesia is also a major source of sustainably harvested forestry products for Australia,” Minister Joyce said. – Antara News