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Thursday, 16 December 1993
Page: 4834

Senator BEAHAN —My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and refers to the work of the Australia Abroad Council. Following on the success of the Celebrate Australia promotion in Japan, what progress has been made with the Australia Today: Indonesia '94 promotion planned for next June and July in Indonesia?

Senator GARETH EVANS —The Australia Today: Indonesia '94 promotion, which we will be running in Indonesia in June-July next year, will be the largest trade and cultural promotion ever undertaken by Australia in that country. It will be a major trade and cultural showcase for Australia in Indonesia highlighting achievements in trade and industry, science and technology, the arts, education, sport, media, film and tourism. The program will include a major science and technology exhibition; a business and trade exhibition; business conferences and seminars; performances by the Western Australian Ballet, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and other performing and visual arts groups; and a sports program between Australian and Indonesian associations.

  The Australian government is very pleased with the Indonesian government's positive response to the promotion. This is evidenced by the acceptance by Coordinating Minister for Trade and Industry Hartarto to be patron of the occasion. Indonesia is a country of over 180 million people, with an economy which continues to grow at over six per cent a year. I take this opportunity to urge Australian companies to seize the moment to join with the Australian government in making this promotion, Australia Today: Indonesia '94, even more successful than the promotion which has just ended in Japan. It will help them and this country to generate new business links with Indonesia. It will also help to build the image of a sophisticated, technologically advanced country, which is exactly what we do want to promote in the region. It will generally be of enormous benefit to the national interest.