Thursday, April 2, 2020

AIBCnews: Issue 187 - April 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

After several weeks of COVID-19 lockdown, Australia is now emerging with gradually relaxing rules for business and social gathering. This pandemic has a long way to play out yet, until perhaps an effective cure is available, and we will all be called upon to continually adjust our daily routines. As a reminder though just how serious the situation remains, we recount the recent COVID-19 experience of one of our “family”, Bernardus “Bernie” Djonoputro, below.

Our Australian Federal, State and Territory Governments, together with our Health Agencies, have been working tirelessly, and despite the heavy toll this pandemic has taken on so many, we have so far emerged as well as just about any country.

With our economies having taken such a significant and unexpected setback, we can look to the new Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) to provide some new promise and fresh opportunities (see “IA-CEPA Corner” below for more on this). Now with the clock ticking down on the prescribed 60 days to entry into force, Sunday 5 July looms as an important and historic day in the relationship between Australia and Indonesia, when IA-CEPA becomes active.

Only as recently as Monday 4 May, our respective Trade Ministers met via video conference, and gave IA-CEPA the final nudge towards entry into force. Both Ministers highlighted the importance of IA-CEPA to the recovery of our economies, and to businesses in both countries.

In the lead up to the IA-CEPA announcement, AIBC has been working with its Members on a range of issues, including the impacts of COVID-19 on the important International Education sector, and the plight of many International Students. AIBC connected with all of our University Members in every State and Territory, and made representation to the Federal Education Minister, Hon Dan Tehan MP, sharing our views on this sector and situation.