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Transcript of doorstop interview: Intercontinental Hotel, Sydney: 6 November 2016: Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

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THE HON STEVEN CIOBO MP Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment





STEVEN CIOBO: It's terrific to have the chance to meet with the Indonesian Trade Minister, Minister Lukita, this afternoon with this delegation from Indonesia. A very clear sign that notwithstanding the unfortunate need for President Widodo to postpone his trip to Australia, both Australia and Indonesia remain very committed toward taking this relationship from strength to strength. And also the very solid progress we've made with respect to the Australia-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Discussions are ongoing. There is a lot of good will on both sides, and of course there's huge untapped potential, both between Australia and Indonesia. And that really underscores why both Australia and Indonesia are very committed to this process. The meeting today went very well. Very warm and cordial. Minister Lukita and I have met on a number of occasions now and we're progressing our discussions and those negotiations very well. Still very committed to concluding, we hope, by the end of next year. We also took the opportunity today to have discussions in relation to the live cattle trade. I was very pleased Indonesia has confirmed that there will not be a quota for animals out of Australia, and that they'll be also happy to have annual permits for live cattle exports from Australia. Very good news for Australian industry. We're going to continue to work together to also help Indonesia boost their domestic breeding stock of cattle. This is of course value for Indonesia and it's one that Australia of course brings a lot of knowledge and a lot of ability to the table. And I'm very confident we'll be able to work together for an effective outcome around live cattle exports as well. Questions?

JOURNALIST: Do you expect that the live cattle trade will increase with this new deal?

STEVEN CIOBO: We're working together to make sure that Indonesia's need for increased beef cattle and Australia's desire of course, to be able to sell more beef cattle is in a position that's going to produce a win-win outcome. Shifting to annual permits and having no quota will definitely be advantageous for Australian exports

but this really is about achieving a win-win outcome. And so I'm confident that by working together, we'll be able to do just that.

JOURNALIST: So Australia is, population-wise, comparatively a very small country, very small market compared to Indonesia. What can they get from us? What's in it for them?

STEVEN CIOBO: For Indonesia?


STEVEN CIOBO: In relation to live cattle or more broadly?

JOURNALIST: No, more broadly. In trade.

STEVEN CIOBO: Sure. Australia of course is different measures - we're the 12th- largest economy in the world. We have a very mature, developed economy. We generate a lot of intellectual property, we've got a lot of good technical skills and knowledge here in Australia. We're able to share that with a country like Indonesia, a country which of course, is rapidly growing. A country which has very strong focus on building a capacity for their domestic population. We're very focused in particular on services exports from Australia, opportunities in relation to tourism, in relation to education, as well as what we're doing in our traditional markets like agriculture and live cattle exports, for example. All of that, very important export industries for Australia and highly regarded by the Indonesians.

JOURNALIST: Have you brought up, or any of your colleagues brought up the possibility of Indonesia taking refugees from our offshore processing centres?

STEVEN CIOBO: I haven't, no.

JOURNALIST: And what industries do you hope will be some of the first to take up trade under this new deal?

STEVEN CIOBO: I continue to see an expansion of trade opportunities between Australia and Indonesia. In many respects, that's precisely why we want to put in place a high quality, commercially meaningful agreement between Australia and Indonesia. This is why we are undergoing negotiations now, and I'm very hopeful that with the successful conclusion of negotiations, we hope around the middle to end of next year, we'll be well placed to see the economic relationship between Australia and Indonesia go from strength to strength. Thanks everybody.