Indonesia, Australia reduce tariffs on key commodities

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Australia and Indonesia will promptly proceed with the plan to implement tariff reductions on key commodities, opening the way to increased trade between the two countries, according to Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo.

“Indonesia will reduce tariffs on the import of Australian raw sugar, and Australia will eliminate import duties on Indonesian herbicides and pesticides,” Ciobo was quoted as saying by the Australian Embassy here on its official website on Wednesday.

These measures will boost Australias sugar industry and Indonesias chemical industry and provide flow-on economic benefits to both countries.

Indonesian pesticides and herbicides will be more competitive in the Australian market and offer greater choice to consumers. Indonesias processed food and beverage industries will benefit from lower raw sugar prices in meeting the demands of national and regional markets.

Indonesian and Australia Trade Ministers, Enggartiasto Lukita and Steven Ciobo, stated that they were pleased to make the announcement jointly. “These tariff cuts reflect our shared ambition for the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA)”, Ciobo noted.

Lukita added that “President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Turnbull are determined to conclude IA-CEPA this year, and we are doing all we can to make that happen.”

IA-CEPA will go beyond a traditional trade agreement and have strong foundations in cooperation and partnership. The IA-CEPA negotiations align closely with Widodos competitiveness agenda and are already delivering outcomes to support Indonesian and Australian businesses.

The two countries are also undertaking a joint standards mapping exercise to help businesses in both countries meet technical standards. Other early outcomes, such as the Red Meat and Cattle Partnership, support Indonesias cattle breeding programs and help create better certainty for Australian live cattle imports.

A series of short courses for Indonesian businesses and officials are helping to boost export capacity for Indonesia in processed food, herbal remedies, and creative industries.(*)

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