Joint statement with His Excellency, Mr Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia

26 Feb 2017
Prime Minister, President of the Republic of Indonesia

PRIME MINISTER: President Widodo, welcome.

It’s been a wonderful visit. We had a very relaxed and enjoyable dinner last night at our home with your wife, the First Lady Iriana, and Lucy and Foreign Minister and Defence Minister. We had a walk in the Botanic Gardens this morning.

The warmth with which you were received by all the joggers in the Gardens and by some Indonesian students who were delighted to see us both, shows how warm and strong the friendship between our two countries is.

Our Annual Leaders’ Meeting today has confirmed the strategic depth and strength of our partnership. We are both vibrant democracies that stand for mutual respect and diversity. We share a commitment to democracy, freedom, the rule of law and a rules-based international order that provides stability for both our peoples, and the region, to prosper.

We will strive towards a stronger partnership which is defined by these common interests. The Lombok Treaty, signed in 2006, is the bedrock of our strategic and security relationship. I’ve assured the President of Australia’s commitment to Indonesia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The potential for US to expand our economic relationship is very clear. We are very committed to concluding a high-quality bilateral Free Trade Agreement, the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership by the end of this year. This will facilitate more opportunities for Australian and Indonesian businesses and create more jobs for both Australia and Indonesia.

We’re very pleased to have reached agreement where Indonesia will lower its’ sugar tariff on Australian sugar to the ASEAN level of 5 per cent. We in return will eliminate tariffs of pesticides and herbicides coming from Indonesian suppliers to put them on an equal footing with out other major trading partners. This will provide Indonesia with better access to quality Australian sugar at more competitive prices and of course, its good news for Australian exporters, allowing Australian sugar to compete on a level playing field with other suppliers. And ensuring a win-win for Indonesian consumers and Australian exporters, we’ve agreed over longer term permits, a wider range of cattle both in terms of weight and age, can be exported to Indonesia.

Independent of Government, Australian and Indonesian industries are beginning to realise the great economic potential of the relationship. Our defence industries are co‑producing a version of the Australian Bushmaster armoured vehicle in Indonesia. As we drive deeper economic engagement, I am announcing today that this year we will open a new Consulate‑General in Indonesia’s second largest city and commercial hub, Surabaya.

And as we are both passionate enthusiasts for all things digital, we have agreed to continue to enhance our engagement in the digital and creative economy.

Our practical cooperation in counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism makes our communities safer and the region more secure. 

As the terrorism threat evolves, so must our joint efforts, including to manage the threat posed by foreign fighters returning from the Syrian and Iraq conflict zone. So our respective Ministers recently announced $40 million for the second phase of the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice, which will support collaboration on law enforcement and security issues.

We are working together to combat people smuggling and human trafficking in our region through our co-chairing of the Bali Process and this year we will launch the Bali Process Business Forum, which brings government and business together to combat human trafficking.

As maritime trading nations, Australia and Indonesia are natural maritime partners with common interests. We have agreed a joint declaration on enhancing maritime cooperation which will be underpinned by a Plan of Action to increase the benefits from our maritime partnership.

And President Widodo and I have agreed on the full restoration of Defence cooperation, training exchanges and activities.

Of course the relationship is about much more than agreements and close ties between governments. Indonesia is our number one holiday destination, with about a million Aussies travelling to Bali alone last year. We have a vested interest in peace and stability in our region’s seas and oceans. So we both strongly encourage countries in our region to resolve disputes in accordance with international which is the foundation for stability and prosperity.

It’s critical that we also recognise ASEAN’s important role in regional security and economic architecture. So President Widodo, I look forward to welcoming you back to Australia in 2018 when all ten ASEAN leaders will gather in Australia for a historic ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.

Australia is the most popular destination for Indonesians studying abroad and Indonesia is the number on destination for young Australians studying in Asia under our New Colombo Plan.

We welcome, Mr President, your intention to open three more Indonesian language centres in Australia. More than 100,000 Australians are studying the Indonesian language.

As we saw this morning Mr President, the very vibrant Indonesian community in Australia is very keen to see more of you and Iriana today, so you have a very busy programme, and I look forward, we look forward, to your remarks.

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA: Thank you your Excellency Malcolm Turnbull. Again, I would like to thank you for the wonderful dinner last night and for the morning walk. We have actually covered all of our bilateral issues on our dinner and morning walk.

The bilateral meeting that we just had clearly demonstrates our profound commitment to promote bilateral cooperation.

That robust relationship can be established when both countries have mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity, non-interference into the domestic affairs of each other and the ability to develop a mutually beneficial partnership.

We agreed that negotiation over the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement will be concluded in 2017 as Prime Minister Turnbull previously mentioned.

On trade, I have conveyed to Prime Minister Turnbull some of the key issues. First, is the removal of barriers to trade, tariffs and non-tariffs for Indonesian products such as Indonesia’s papers and palm oil.

On politics and security, I welcome to cooperation that both parties have undertaken through the ‘2+2’ meetings between the Foreign and Defence Ministers, the Ministerial Consul of Law and Security, with emphasis on some permanent issues such as counter-terrorism, cyber-security, fishing and combatting transnational organised crime.

My visit also solidifies our commitment to intensifying the teaching of Indonesian language in Australia.

Indonesia already has three Indonesian language centres in Perth Melbourne and Canberra. A number of other centres will be established soon. I have also received reports that over 160,000 Australian students are learning Indonesian languages.

I have also appreciated Australia’s support throughout Indonesia’s chairmanship of IORA.

Together Indonesia and Australia are committed to promote stability and prosperity in the region.

Prime Minister Turnbull will also attend the IORA Leadership Summit in Indonesia in March this year. Again I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the warm and cordial welcome extended to me for this visit.

Thank you.