Remarks, Bilateral meeting with the President of the Republic of Indonesia

10 Feb 2020
Parliament House, Canberra
Prime Minister

PRIME MINISTER: Can I thank you again for visiting Australia, this your first visit to Canberra, but not your first visit to Australia, but it is the second time you’ve come and brought rain. We do appreciate that very much, and Mr President, Your Excellency, can I thank you once again for the incredibly generous good wishes and practical support that the people of Indonesia and the government of Indonesia has provided to Australia during this very difficult Black Summer of our fires, and your own personal messages of support and those of your Ministers but also the practical support in the operations here is very gratefully received and we accept as an expression of the closeness and the fondness of the relationship that we have and as I have privately I also thanked you for your very kind words and condolence that you offered my father.

It has been, I think, a very good opportunity for us to meet together at this time. Australia and Indonesia as we conclude the ratification of the IA-CEPA, which was the first, the very first item of business after I became Prime Minister following on from my predecessor, and I visited Indonesia, almost two years ago now, and it has been processed since then through our parliaments and I want to thank you for your leadership following your re-election - I congratulate you again on that - it has been able to be so successfully taken through your parliament prior to your arrival here and we appreciate that and we now have a road map, we now have a plan, to see the economic relationship really escalate. That will create great opportunities for both Australia and Indonesia in the next decade and beyond. We look forward to the movement and flow of capital, people, investment and trade. And that only further deepening the bonds between our two nations. 

I also thank you greatly for the tremendous security partnership that we have, that only goes from strength to strength, the cooperation between governments on these issues, and our defence forces and what has now become quite a long standing relationship on these issues. We both understand very clearly the great opportunities that exist within the Indo-Pacific region. And I want to commend you on your leadership within the Indo-Pacific region and particularly within ASEAN by championing the Indo-Pacific concept. This is a construct that Indonesia has led, has defined, and has attracted great support, not only from the nations of ASEAN, but more broadly including Australia, and we look forward to continuing to work with you very closely as we pursue this vision of the Indo-Pacific both in its economic opportunities, in its strategic opportunities to support peace and stability in our region, but also, as we discussed last night, the significant environmental challenges that we wish to pursue and to show leadership on together, from everything from technology to how we manage the oceans, of which Australia and Indonesia have a keen interest in. A nation of one very big island, and another nation of many, many islands. And so this is an issue that is close to both of our hearts. 

And so I might conclude on, on those matters. But simply by saying that you join us today in Canberra - a purpose built capital for Australia - and your vision of the same, in Kalimantan [inaudible] is truly inspiring. It has special meaning to me because as I mentioned to you yesterday, my grandfather, that was the last place he was serving, in the Second [inaudible] regiment during the Second World War. And that's where he saw out the last days of the Second World War. So it's a well-chosen place. And I'll look forward to visiting there for several reasons, but I wish you all the best with that project and I hope while you are here in Canberra that there may be a few ideas, but maybe not as many roundabouts. As I'm sure the Foreign Minister, when she spent time here many years ago understands. But thank you again, Mr. President. It’s a great privilege to have you here with us as a great friend of Australia.